Preserve Adult Education in Oakland
Dear Oakland Board of Education: We, the undersigned, and so many like us, understand the stated dearth of resources available to support our young people in receiving the best education possible, and the difficulty of the decisions you must make in budgeting the upcoming 2010-11 school year. We also know the critical role that parents, caretakers, and other adults in our community play in the education of our children and their potential to become educated, well-rounded members of our community in the future. These understandings lead us to the following conclusions: • Adults learning English and parenting skills need access to educational resources that improve their ability to support their children in school. • People who have been incarcerated, many of whom are or will be parents, need access to the basic education that reduces recidivism rates and lead to employment and participation in making our society healthier. • Young adults without high school diplomas or GEDs need access to acquiring these basic resources outside of the high school setting. • Adults who are disabled need access to resources that allow them to be more self-sufficient, reducing pressure on families and freeing up resources for children. • Adults preparing to become citizens of the United States need access to English skills and the education that allows them to build active, productive, healthy families and community members. • People who are able to find gainful employment or re-employment with career and technical training geared toward the industries available need the skills to participate fully in and contribute to our local economy. • Our children’s older family members need the language skills, cultural literacy and health and well-being to support their offspring in their own education. These are the parents, family members, and community members of the children for whom you have been elected to advocate. We do not believe that it is possible to create healthy learning environments for our children by eliminating resources for their parents, mentors, and bread winners; we cannot support our children without supporting their families and strengthening their communities in the concrete ways provided by an adult education system. Therefore, we urge you to support the preservation of our educational institutions for adults as we proceed through these difficult times. Education is one of the bedrocks of our community. Every student, of any age, who we are unable to serve, is a loss for our community as a whole, and for our children. Every school, despite the age of the people it serves, is an asset to our community. Please help us maintain an adult education system in Oakland – despite the absence of a current dedicated funding stream for this vital resource, and until one is reinstated.