[AAACE-NLA] Adult Ed Advocacy in L.A. sees success, and incidentally saves children's education programs
djrosen123 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 25 09:09:56 EDT 2012
What adult literacy advocates in Los Angeles are doing is very heartening. They have met some success through:
• a well-coordinated effort of massive phone calls
• a citywide petition drive (with 220,000 signatures)
• demonstrations and rallies
• media attention, including first language media
• web sites, and
• a 3,500 person protest at the public schools headquarters
to stave off the elimination of all of the adult schools in the LAUSD, one of the largest (if not _the_ largest) urban education public school adult school programs in the country.
"...political pressure emanating from a broad and dynamic movement spearheaded by Adult Education students, allowed BOE member Steve Zimmer to move not only to delay the vote, but to instruct the Superintendent to provide a budget with different options. The BOE, some of them quite reluctantly, voted yes on Zimmer’s motion, temporarily saving not only adult education, but the other programs slated for elimination..." *
This may be the first example, but one that we should point out to our pre-k-12 public school colleagues, of adult education advocacy directly benefiting pre-k-12 programs. (Of course adult education, especially the education of parents, has always indirectly affected pre-k-12 children's learning.)
"The campaign has also received national attention, with the Washington D.C. based National Coalition for Literacy publishing a series of articles from students, educators, and activists on the ground, each highlighting various aspects of the struggle. The series, entitled, Cut the Excuses, not education, is an excellent resource both in terms of the documenting the struggle, but also providing ideas for other struggles." *
The battle to restore the LAUSD adult education budget is far from over, and this initial victory needs to be followed by continued advocacy, but it may be that L.A. advocates will show us in other states and localities that well-organized grass roots campaigns that engage learners, businesses (including small businesses who will put up signs in windows and in front of their establishments), city council members, community organizers, the media (including first language media) as well as organized labor and others, may be the answer to how to stop the devastating cuts faced by adult education in many states, counties and cities.
Congratulations to our advocacy colleagues in L.A. We are following your struggle and I, for one, am very encouraged by your efforts. Thanks, too, to the National Coalition for Literacy for their attention to this effort in L.A..
Main source, quoted: http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/03/the-struggle-to-save-adult-education-in-los-angeles/
Photo of 500 demonstrators: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0314-lausd-budget-20120314,0,5349725.story
David J. Rosen
Adult Literacy Advocate
djrosen123 at gmail.com
More information about the AAACE-NLA