[Nesabes] FW: COABE: Oppose the Alexander Amendment
cbower at necc.mass.edu
Wed Jun 20 19:29:04 EDT 2007
From: COABE [mailto:COABE at literacyprogram.org]
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 8:28 AM
Subject: COABE: Oppose the Alexander Ammendment
A successful effort was made last week to resurrect the immigration bill
that had been pulled from the floor of the Senate by the Senate Majority
Leader Senator Reid. As part of the deal to bring the bill back to the
floor Democrats and Republicans have agreed to 21 amendments that will
be submitted as part of the bill. THE ALEXANDER AMENDMENT, NO. 1161
will be one of the twenty one that will be offered.
IT IS EXTEMELY IMPORTANT TO THE FIELD OF ADULT EDUCATION THAT WE DEFEAT
The amendment would allocate $500 per person from the fees paid by
people attempting to gain citizenship. The money for each eligible
candidate would go directly to "an accredited institution of higher
education or other qualified institution as determined by the Chief of
the Office of Citizenship of the Department of Homeland Security". If
there insufficient funds generated by this method priority would be
given based upon the financial need of the applicants.
The National Council of State Directors of Adult Education strongly
objects to this amendment and urges the field to contact individual US
Senators asking them to vote against the amendment when it comes up for
debate at the end of this week.
We object to the amendment for the following reasons:
1. $500 is insufficient to provide the level of ESOL instruction
that would allow an individual to gain competency in reading, writing
speaking English. The US Department of Education estimates that the
current average cost for one year of ESOL instruction is approximately
2. Any provision of ESOL services under this bill should utilize
the existing systems of adult education in the states which have been
providing these services over the years.
3. The appropriate method to increase the resources needed for
these ESOL services is to substantially increase funding for adult
education programs under Title II, Workforce Investment Act.
If the Alexander amendment is defeated we will work with the appropriate
committee staff in the House to insure that a more reasonable approach
to this issue is included in the House version of the legislation.
The vote on this amendment will be close. THEREFORE WE ARE REQESTING THE
FOLLOWING ACTIONS IN THE NEXT FOUR DAYS:
Telephone calls from adult educators should be made to the Washington
offices of each US Senator, (except for Senator Alexander and Senator
Cochran who is a cosponsor of the amendment). The calls should ask the
Senator to "oppose the Alexander amendment, No. 1161 when it comes up
for a vote on the floor during the immigration bill debate".
In addition we need calls with the same message from your key advocates
to the education staff person in each Senator's office.
Since many of our programs are already closed for the summer most of the
calls will need to come from staff who can be contacted through e-mail
networks established by local programs and professional organizations.
Thank you again for your continued efforts on behalf of our students.
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