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Literacy New York Announces New Call To Action: NO CUTS IN ADULT EDUCATION Campaign

Mon, Apr 3rd 2017 09:00 am

Literacy New York is encouraging providers to support the campaign in light of potentially devastating cuts that could be in the works.

According to the National Council of State Directors,

"The Trump administration's initial budget proposal, which was recently released, proposed a budget cut of 13.5% in the U.S. Department of Education for FY2018. While adult education was not specifically mentioned in this proposal, we anticipate that the complete budget, which will be released in mid-May, will include the cut of 13.5% for adult education along with most other education programs."

The goal of the campaign is to generate 600,000 contacts from the adult education field with the message to members of Congress: DO NOT CUT FUNDING FOR ADULT EDUCATION.  The campaign will be carried out through the advocacy networks set up by both organizations.

CALL TO ACTION—Directions from The National Council of State Directors of Adult Education

To be successful, we need to generate a massive outpouring of support for our provision. Our initial goals are for 500 contacts per Congressional district and 5,000 contacts per Senator (the number of contacts for Senators will range from 1,000 in smaller states up to as many as 20,000 in larger states). Please remember that members of the House and Senate want to hear only from their constituents.

This campaign will focus on contacts between adult education students, alumni of adult education programs, teachers and administrators, and friends of adult education with ALL MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE.

Contacts should be made in the following ways:

1.  Letters

All letters should be directed to the Washington, D.C. offices of the members of Congress. You will need to ensure that those mailing addresses are readily available to all groups that will be participating. Letters can be sent either by U.S. mail or by email, using the official website that each member of Congress maintains. Clicking on the member's website and the contact link will allow a person to write a letter that will automatically be sent to the member's office.

Outline for student letters: 

All student letters should include (1) the reason that the student enrolled in adult education. Examples might include the following: receiving a high school equivalency credential, improving literacy, math, or writing skills, or participating in job training. (2) what the student is planning to do when they finish the program. (3) The statement DO NOT CUT FUNDING FOR ADULT EDUCATION.

Letters from alumni of adult education programs should focus on how the program helped them get a better job, earn more money, help their children learn more effectively, and make them better citizens.

Letters from teachers can include some capsule summaries of the students that they are teaching and the statement DO NOT CUT FUNDING FOR ADULT EDUCATION.

Letters from program administrators can contain information about the outcomes of their local program (number of students gaining a high school diploma/equivalent, number of students going on to postsecondary education, number of students gaining quality jobs, etc.) and the statement DO NOT CUT FUNDING FOR ADULT EDUCATION.

Letters from friends of adult education, particularly business and industry representatives, should focus on the economic benefits of the adult education program to the community and to the specific business and the statement DO NOT CUT FUNDING FOR ADULT EDUCATION.

2.  Telephone Calls

Telephone calls should be made directly to the Washington D.C. offices of the members of Congress. Student calls can go as follows: "My name is ___________. I am a student in the ________________ adult education program. I would like Representative/Senator ________________ to know that adult education works. Please oppose all cuts to adult education."

COABE will have an automated system that will facilitate both letter writing and calling as well. You will be able to access that system through a website that will be available soon—check http://www.coabe.org/ .

ORGANIZATION: In order to succeed, a state-wide group must coordinate this campaign. If you need help, we and COABE will help you create such a group.

TIMING: This campaign needs to start immediately, with the bulk of the contacts being made through the end of the school year in late May/early June. Given the slow pace of the budget through Congress it is possible that we will still be in this fight well into the fall.

HISTORY: History proves that advocacy works. We have faced similar challenges in the past and prevailed because we worked smart and worked together.

Help all our voices be heard by participating in the democratic process so that our elected officials make the right decision. This may well be the most important action we take this year in our role as adult educators.

As usual, please let us know how we can help, and thank you again for being an advocate for our students.      


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