[AAACE-NLA] Anyone else in the same boat?
AEllison at ed.state.nh.us
Mon Jun 28 11:14:49 EDT 2010
To the list,
To the list,
I want to support David's call to action when he says that "Regardless
of how many of us hate that we are in boats at low tide, or sinking or
submerges boats, regardless of how wrong we may think that this is for
our nation, this is a time for intense organizing:".
There are several immediate actions that the adult education community
can take to begin the long road back:
1. Policy makers must be made aware of the impact of funding cuts to
adult education. The focus of this response should come from students,
both those who will not have classes in the fall and those who will be
fortunate to have services. As with all student contacts, their stories
must go to the elected officials from the legislative district in which
the students live.
2. There needs to be coordination around the campaign to restore funding
during the budget process for the state's next fiscal year. Budget
development is going already going on in most state agencies for the
state fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2011.
3. Governors will typically do the major work on their budget proposals
for the July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012 fiscal year in Sept-Dec. 2010. The
Governor's budget is usually sent to the state legislature in late
January or early February, in this case, 2011; the legislature works on
the budget through the spring and early summer, hoping to get the budget
approved and sent back to the Governor for signature before July 1.
4. It is not too early to begin developing the advocacy networks that
you will need in the fall to influence the Governor and in the winter
and spring to work with the legislature.
In New Hampshire where advocacy is an ongoing responsibility of all
adult educators and students we will start our advocacy campaign in
September when every local program director will send the Governor and
all members of the legislature a report on the benefits of their program
during the past school year. This communication usually contains student
speeches from the June, 2010 graduations.
The week after the election in November, November 3-9 in this case, all
elected Governors and members of the legislature will receive
congratulatory letters from local program directors with additional
information about student accomplishments in their programs from
There is a specific time line of advocacy actions that will be taken by
the adult community and our allies from the letters mentioned above
through the final enactment of the budget in late June, 2011.
There will be much more to this story as the weeks and months unfold but
the main point is that we must advocate for and with our students. It is
our responsibility as adult educators.
Art Ellison, NH State Adult Education Director
From: aaace-nla-bounces at lists.literacytent.org
[mailto:aaace-nla-bounces at lists.literacytent.org] On Behalf Of David J.
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:21 AM
To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by AAACE
Subject: Re: [AAACE-NLA] Anyone else in the same boat?
Hello Regina and others,
Since no one has responded otherwise, Arizona may be the only "worst
state in a generally very bleak adult education state funding landscape.
understanding is that Arizona has a particularly tough group of
anti-immigrant, anti-second chance legislators and now also a Governor
the same camp.
I wonder, since I didn't see it on your list, if Arizona advocates
a campaign of phone calling, letter writing and emails from adult
across the state. Very likely you did, as Arizona has done that very
successfully in the past, but if not, this is often the most important
strategy in crisis -- flooding legislators and other policy makers with
constitutent demands. Adult education budget slashing appears to be the
norm for the state budgets in the coming year, where budgets have been
passed. In some states there may be more budget slashing in 2011-2012
the economy has a sudden upturn and state revenue increases. Not a
scenario for 2011-2012.
For most state advocates the goal is to struggle to hold on to the
quo and, where applicable, any recent gains, and to wait until the
turns around to recover losses and perhaps again see increases in adult
education funding. Regardless of how many of us hate that we are in
low tide, or sinking or submerged boats, regardless of how wrong we may
think that is for our nation, this is a time for intense organizing. The
teachers who are left after the funding cuts may be demoralized but also
be ready to advocate in ways we have never seen before. Students
in classes who have seen other students' classes eliminated may be
determined to fight for the restoration of funds. Volunteers who have
how adult education has been decimated may join our cause. Labor unions
businesses who need adult basic skills for their workers may join us. In
some states, foundations may support our organizing efforts with funding
also with public testimony about the need for our services. We also
have many more retired educators in our midst if the demographic
are correct. Some of these may be moving to Arizona and other warm
Wherever they are, they can be organized to join our cause.
Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, from Massachusetts, said that
politics is local, and he was right. Constituents have to cultivate
education champion legislators one by one. It takes time -- years -- and
have to hang on like bulldogs in the good years to secure increases, and
the bad years to protect gains and minimize losses.
Arizona may be the worst case, but California, New Jersey and other
are in adult education funding crises. New York, Pennsylvania and other
states. while they may not be in crisis, are greatly suffering. I don't
think the funding crisis will soon dissipate.So we have to dig in for
Tennessee adult educator and founder of the Highlander Center, Myles
called the long haul.
I would be interested to hear how other states are doing, and also what
you -- AAACE-NLA lis reader, are doing to organize advocacy efforts in
David J. Rosen
Adult Literacy Advocate
djrosen at theworld.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Suitt, Regina" <rsuitt at pima.edu>
To: "National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by AAACE"
<aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 12:41 AM
Subject: [AAACE-NLA] Anyone else in the same boat?
> The Arizona state legislature and Governor passed a FY 10-11 budget
> zero budget for adult education. Are there any states besides Arizona
> having all adult education, GED Testing and family literacy funding
> eliminated in the state budget?
> We faced a similar threat in 2003 and were able to retain funding, but
> had a different Governor and a different economic picture then.
> We rallied, wrote letters, nurtured relationships, used social media,
> with legislators, called in some big "GED graduate guns", met with our
> local workforce boards and committees, and got good print and
> media behind us....just about everything we could think of, yet we
> still zeroed out. I just wonder what is happening elsewhere in the
> country? We're not giving up for next year, but I want to make sure
> trying everything I can and everything the AE field nationally thinks
> Thanks so much,
> Regina Suitt
> Pima College Adult Education
> Tucson, Arizona
> rsuitt at pima.edu
> check out www.supportadultedarizona.com for more information about our
> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
> LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
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