The CCAE conference facilitated making new connections and collaborating with other activists. We’re able to communicate and gather online to share our stories and resources. Cynthia's Adult Education Matters blog provided valuable information and insightful commentary for those who were unable to attend. The letters posted from San Mateo adult school students to Assemblyman Ting shed light on the impact and value of adult ed in California. In addition, they illustrate that adult schools already have programs, such as ALLIES, working in coordination with community colleges (one of the recommendations in the LAO Report on Restructuring Adult Education).
Also this week, Governor Brown announced that his school funding reform was “a matter of civil rights”. This prompted a response from Senator Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) who “made a point to ‘welcome the governor to the table’ on the education discussion but noted ‘none of us has a monopoly on talking about civil rights,’ a direct response to Brown’s characterization of his plan as a matter of social justice."
Cynthia Eagleton wrote an open letter to Governor Brown, asking him to “recognize that Adult Education as delivered through the K12 system is the only branch of public education that meets people exactly as they are, wherever they are, throughout this state. In deserts, in mountains, on the coast, in the valleys... Adult Education provides accessible programs which empower people to communicate in English, work, parent, vote, and share the best of themselves with their families, their communities, and this state.”
And... two new A4CAS videos this week:
The granola quote from Governor Brown provided a revealing glimpse of what we’re up against. There’s been a constant flow of articles about Jerry Brown recently that depict him as a hero (“The Second Coming”). The articles about adult education are few and far between and rarely connect us to the larger story of public education reform. We need to assert ourselves to be viewed as an integral part of the California public education system. We were certainly viewed as such when we stood side by side with ALL public education teachers to ensure the passage of Proposition 30.
How do we gain the support of K-12 teachers? The unions should be able to provide us access by highlighting our activism in their publications. CFT is my union and I’ve asked for more coverage of the various grassroots efforts to raise awareness of the threat posed by Governor Brown’s proposal for adult ed. DESIGNATED FUNDING is what we need. More signatures on the Rebuild Adult Ed petition will make our collective voice heard loudly and clearly. One great option is to print out the petition to obtain more signatures. Our unions should support our efforts. Please contact your local union representatives and ask for coverage in newsletters to get the word to K-12 teachers. It’s surprising how many people are unaware of the adult school closures.
Tomorrow Azusa Adult School will present their petition to their school board. Please sign and share their petition to show that we stand united -- we won’t allow adult schools to fall like dominoes all over the state. West Contra Costa Adult Education spoke up at their school board meeting last Wednesday, showing that activism makes all the difference.
Please email any photos you would like to share (knowing that they may end up in a video). Let us know if you're interested in helping A4CAS (making phone calls, etc.). We can use all the help we can get! Our email address is Alliance4CAS@gmail.com.
Have a great week!