April 20 to 24 is Adult Ed Week 2020 - but not the way we thought it would be.
Many of us were revving up to attend CCAE Leg Day followed by the CCAE State Conference in Sacramento. We were going to push again on the 110 million ask for Adult Ed Funding. (Remember - Adult Ed has been under-funded for over ten years!)
|SMAS Teacher Jessica|
Wearing her Red for Adult Ed
and a facial covering
Does Adult Ed still matter? Do K12 Adult Schools have a special role to play in the COVID Recovery process?
Will English language skills, job skills, health literacy, citizenship, GED and high school diplomas, make a positive difference as we navigate and recover from this crisis?
We know the answer is YES! Adult Education Matters! Now more than ever!
Do crises sometimes mean disaster for K12 Adult Schools?
This is a critical point and one that needs to be remembered as we talk to our legislators about the importance of Adult Education, especially as we move through this crisis and into what we expect to be rough financial times ahead. As communicated very clearly from the Governor and our Legislature, there are difficult financial decisions ahead. The last time we faced a similar situation Adult Education experienced the effect of local flexibility, and the Adult Education system statewide was almost dismantled in its entirety. The Department of Finance and legislators openly admitted after that this was a mistake in policy.
K12 Adult Ed as a means to COVID Recovery needs to be
in the public mind and discourse.
in Legislative mind and discourse
in Governor and Dept of Finance mind and discourse
Adult Ed Week is all about that - So how can we make that happen while we shelter at home?
1. Dialogue with your students
- Ask your students how and why Adult Ed is especially important now as we cope with this crisis
- Ask them how they plan to rely on it as we work to recover from the crisis
- Provide your students with info about the situation
- Adult ed underfunded
- State budget needs to be rewritten because of COVID
- We need make sure the Governor and Legislator knows Adult Ed Matters
2. Social Media
- This week, take photos of yourself wearing #Red4AdultEd
- Ask your students to do the same
- If you're zooming, with student permission, grab a screen print of you and your students wearing Red for Adult Ed - maybe holding up signs saying Adult Education Matters
- Share the photos on social media with hashtags and stats and stories about Adult Ed
- Post stories old or new that showcase the value of Adult Ed - especially now when we are facing a Recession/Depression situation.
3. Emails and letters - click here for help from CCAE
- Write your State Senator, Assembly Member, and the Governor about Adult Ed Funding - and mention K12 Adult Ed specifically
- Letters on paper have more impact than emails
- Phone calls are super fantastic - call and ask to talk to the aide in charge of education
- If you make a phone call, dialogue with the aide you speak with - ask them what their Member plans on pushing for in this new budget, what their priorities are, what their questions about the role of Adult Ed might be
4. Join CCAE
- CCAE is the only organization specifically devoted to K12 Adult Ed - and remember, K12 Adult Ed gets the worst cuts - much worse than CC Adult Ed
- This week they are having a webinar - Legislative Advocacy Reimagined - sign up for it!
- If your register for the webinar, you can watch it later, at your convenience
5. If you work at a school with a union, join the union if you're not a member, and get involved if you are!
- San Mateo Adult School has done great things for Adult Ed through CFT Local 4681
- Unions are doing a lot right now to to help educators, students, and families cope with this crisis
- Be part of that good work and have a stronger voice in advocacy for K12 Adult Ed, by joining the union and being active in it
6. Take action - take a photo, write a letter, reach out to your networks
* Celebrate and advocate through photos, stories, letters, emails, and calls.
* Talk with your students
* Ask them for feedback on how Adult Ed is helping them cope with this crisis
* Ask them how it can help them recover as the pandemic recedes
* Ask them what they need from Adult Ed now and in future to survive, take care of their families, and navigate the economic fallout from this crisis
* Join CCAE and/or your union and get involved in advocacy.
* Share why Adult Ed Matters with your network of friends and family.
Remember, failure to take action can lead to a crisis -- and wise action can help us recover.
Take wise action!