Here are some resources to help you when thinking about the impact of the Trump presidency and recent election results in Congress on Adult Ed and specifically on our immigrant students, both documented and undocumented.
“The largest state of the union and the strongest driver of our nation’s economy has shown it has its surest conscience as well. California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love.”
“In California, diversity is strength. Our students come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, languages, and religions, and they all come together to learn on their way to success in 21st century careers and college. California already has, and will always maintain, strong legal and state constitutional protections against any and all kinds of discrimination, regardless of a student’s race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
On November 9, 2016, Donald Trump was elected as the forthcoming president of the United States. During his campaign, Trump has made a series of anti-immigrant remarks. He has stated that he would heighten immigration enforcement, end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and increase the number of deportations. Undocumented students and their families all across the country are increasingly becoming anxious and fearful over what the Trump presidency will do in terms of immigration policies and amplifying the anti-immigrant sentiment that Trump’s campaign has fostered. Now, more than ever, undocumented students and their families need support from educators, counselors, and administrators.
At My Undocumented Life blog, we have identified steps that schools and universities can take to support undocumented students.
We do not know when or how the Trump administration will end the DACA program. It could end the program effective immediately and instantly revoke work permits, or it could allow current DACA recipients to keep their work permits until they expire but not renew them." Know your rights cards - in English and in Spanish - you can order them for free. From the San Mateo County Office of Immigration Resources: Human Services Agency Public Benefits Many clients and service providers may have questions or concerns regarding the status of a clients’ health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act or possible impacts to other services given the presidential election results. While we can’t predict the future, HSA would like to share some information that they have at this time.
Covered California's enrollment for 2017 coverage should still be encouraged. Coverage will remain intact for 2017. For Medi-Cal, HSA is continuing to promote and process new enrollments and renewals as always.
While there’s some uncertainty, and concern, about potential changes to these important public programs, HSA will focus on the present and ensure their clients have the health insurance coverage that they are eligible for today and through next year. If these programs change in the future, they will respond to those changes at that time.
Info from COABE about impact of elections - Congress AND Trump - on Adult Ed:
We Need YOUR Help to Ensure Adult Education is Funded
Congress will shortly reconvene in a "lame duck session" to determine spending levels for FY 2017. We need to do whatever we can to ensure that, at a minimum, Adult Education funding is not cut, in the best of possible worlds, gets the increase Congress assumed when it passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
The next years are going to be challenging - pressure to cut federal funding will grow, while demand for Adult Education services is likely to increase. We need to work together to protect and grow funding for Adult Education so that more under educated and/or disadvantaged adults are able function effectively and get family supporting jobs or access post-secondary education.
In March, the new Administration will unveil its first budget. We need to make sure that it adequately funds Adult Education. Then, in April the Congress will begin the annual Appropriations process. Congress also needs to gets the message that Adult Education is a key component to any growth agenda.
We are asking you to weigh in now with Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees who will be making these decisions in the weeks and months to come. Please click HERE for a letter that you can use to send to your Senators and Representatives.
We are convinced that if we continue to work together, we can make good on COABE's mission of advocating for more services, more funding, and less waiting.
If you are interested in helping out with this, please notify us by clicking HERE.
Official Washington is reeling after the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. This was an election that most of the pundits, media, and political class got wrong. Not only is Washington coming to grips with a Trump victory, it is also pondering the effects of Republican victories in Senate races that supposedly favored Democrats, and a still substantial( majority in the House for Republicans.
Today, and for the next several months, Washington will be trying to figure out what it all means. In the short term, we can get some insight into what might happen by looking at changes in Congressional committee leadership and what happens during the lame duck session.
Election Day brings with it the obvious change in Administration, but it also means changes in Congress. Every Congress lasts for two years, and bills introduced but not passed when Congress adjourns at the end of two years must be reintroduced and go through the process again. House and Senate leadership positions, Committee chairpersonships, and even Committee memberships change.
Here are some of the major changes affecting Adult Education. The Republicans are expected to keep control of the House. There are two important positions on Committees: The Chair and the Ranking Member. The Chair is from the party in control (in this case the Republicans) and the Ranking member is the member with the most seniority from the party not in control (i.e., Democrats today).
In the House:
Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chair of the Appropriations Committee is term-limited, creating a vacancy at the top of this extremely important Committee. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) is expected to seek the Chairmanship. Frelinghuysen has emphasized defense and homeland security during his tenure on the Appropriations Committee. In 2012, he described himself as a moderate Republican.
Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is retiring at the end of this Congress and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is expected to become Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee. Foxx is currently Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. It is possible that Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) a staunch supporter of Adult Education will replace Rep. Foxx as Chair of the Subcommittee. With the retirement of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, the Subcommittee will get a new Ranking Member as well.
In the Senate:
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, is retiring. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) would be among the top contenders to replace her. Murray and Durbin are also rumored to be contending for the Number 2 spot in the Democratic leadership.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is likely to remain Chair of the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is likely to remain the senior Democrat. The loss of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) means that there will be a vacancy on both the HELP Committee and the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
The Lame Duck Session:
The lame duck session was supposed to be short, if not sweet. The Trump victory probably shuts the door on any chance that spending caps will be raised. It also adds a degree of uncertainty. Before the election, both sides seemed interested in completing work on a CR (Continuing Resolution to maintain funding levels) or Omnibus (lumping all the appropriation bills together) to clear the decks for the new Administration. Now, some Republicans are arguing for a short-term CR to give the new Republican Administration an opportunity to put its stamp on the final product.
The Trump campaign offered very little insight into its approach to non-defense discretionary spending beyond a proposal dubbed the "penny plan" which called for cutting one cent from every dollar appropriated. This one percent cut sounds relatively innocuous but, when combined with the impact of inflation, would have serious consequences.
One ominous development is that President-elect Trump and other Republicans have also suggested the elimination of the sequester on defense funding to enable more defense spending, which would be funded by deeper cuts in non-defense spending. The Obama Administration has opposed treating defense spending differently from non-defense spending.
We can expect that opposition to domestic discretionary spending will continue unabated.
Education Policy in the New Administration:
We have no indication of how the Administration views Adult Education. There has been some speculation that Vice President-elect Pence will be handed the Education portfolio. Pence supported Adult Ed as governor. It is worth noting that federal support for Adult Education in Indiana amounted to $9.5 million, while the state contributed $25.4 million.
There is very little to guide us in this area. The President-elect didn't talk much about education except to attack the Common Core and advocate for school choice.
Given his position on regulation, we can hypothesize that the Administration will roll back regulations intended to implement ESSA as advocated by Sen. Lamar Alexander, Chair of the Senate HELP Committee. Presumably, it will also look at other regulations affecting school discipline.
It is likely that Congress will restore, and possibly expand, the voucher program for students in Washington, DC, to use to attend private schools. I would expect it to continue to promote charter schools as part of its strategy to improve urban schools, which Trump attacked for being of poor quality.
In the Higher Ed area, some analysts expect that the Administration will try to reduce the debt burden on students, get the government out of the student loan business, and perhaps try to use the tax code to induce private universities to reduce tuition. Finally, we might expect the new Administration to be more kindly disposed toward for-profit institutions.
* Create formal class and school policies about bullying and harassment. Post them publically.
* Ask school administrators to provide facts to students and reassure them about their safety.
* Attend School Board and Regional Consortium meetings and ask them how they plan to respond to any changes in policies in education funding and immigration policy.
* Reach out to other schools and agencies in your Regional Consortium. Share resources and information.
* If your school has a union, make formal statements against bullying and harassment and against deportation of the undocumented. Talk to advisory councils of the larger bodies of CFT and AFT and ask what they plan to do in response to any changes. Get involved on local, state, and national levels.
* If cuts and challenge come to K-12, they will come in worse form for Adult Ed. Adult Ed is still the stepchild of the Public Education system, last in funding and understanding. Under the circumstances, that won't change. In fact, if things are really difficult, it will be worse than what happened these past seven years. So keep on messaging that Adult Education Matters. And be prepared to use the skills we've gained these last seven years for a much bigger cause. Education is key in moving forward in a positive direction.
11/30 Adjournment of the 2015-16 Legislative Session sine die 12/5 2017-2018 Session Begins 12/6 - 1/2 Legislative Winter Recess 1/10 Governor's 2017-2018 Budget Proposal Deadline
Thankful & Looking Forward...by Dawn Koepke, CCAE Legislative Advocate
The last four years together have been an amazing journey with you all in the K12 adult education community. In this regard and during this week of thankfulness, I can't help but ponder the great strides we have made together to bring K12 based adult education back from the brink. While still much remains to be done, we are better situated than we have been in a long time and it is in no small way thanks to all of you for your unending hope, passion, support, trust and leg work at the local level. We would not be where we are today if it weren't for your passionate engagement for K12 based adult education overall and those students you serve. My thanks to you all...
As we look forward to another budget cycle, we've been extremely busy behind the scenes. While we certainly remain grateful for all we've been able to accomplish with the Administration, Department of Finance and Legislature, we know that we have more work to do to refine the Adult Education Block Grant and continue to strengthen K12 based adult education. In this regard, we've put together the attached 2017 Adult Education Framework and Executive Summary describing the current state of adult education, ongoing challenges, issues yet to be resolved, and solutions for resolving them in the next year. As you consider the solutions, you'll note they are not big, splashy changes. Instead, they seek to build on what we believe is a solid foundation in need of some additional refinements. At the core of these proposed refinements is our ongoing concern for access to K-12 based adult education. As you well know, K-12 adult schools' primary (and often only) funding comes from the AEBG. And while the AEBG provisions that provided funding to maintain capacity and access the last two years have been a good starting point, we are beginning to see erosion of that access as costs to run programs continue to increase and the number of adult students who need access to these programs also continues to increase. The capacity in place in K-12 adult schools needs to be protected and expanded to come even close to meeting the demand for services to help adults achieve literacy, basic skills, and secondary completion in order to successfully transition to higher education and/or careers with family-sustaining wages.
Unfortunately, however, with the beginning of a new economic downturn underway, projected to peak in 2018 (per DOF), we do not feel that it is achievable to obtain an additional, significant infusion of revenue into the AEBG - particularly with many consortia not having spent all they were allocated in the last fiscal year. That said, we have been clear that without some level of additional resources the capacity that we've fought so hard to maintain will continue to erode. In this regard, we are pushing strongly in the New Year for the establishment of a COLA for adult education. While we understand this will not address the needs in full, we do believe this is a reasonable and timely request. And based on feedback from DOF and the Legislature over the last year, we believe it may indeed be achievable this budget cycle. We would also note that establishment of a COLA this early in the AEBG process will help provide an added measure of stability in out years - something we all should consider very positive.
Other key issues we're planning to tackle in the next budget cycle include:
- Revision of "Grant" in "Adult Education Block Grant;"
- Encouragement of greater transparency in funding;
- SB 173 parameter recommendations for accountability, placement, other student outcomes, performance based funding, reciprocity, student identifiers, fees and more;
- Increased CDE responsibility for adult education in line with management of WIOA; and
- Creation of an AEBG Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
In addition to working on the Framework, we've been meeting with DOF and Legislative Budget and Policy Committee staff in preparation for the next Budget and Policy cycle that begins with the swearing-in of the 2017-2018 Legislature on December 5th. Our meetings have been very positive and fruitful, with our proposed refinements being viewed quite positively.
We are also pleased to report that last week we had the opportunity to meet with State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Tom Torlakson at the CDE. The SPI was joined by our own Adult Education office Director Chris Nelson; Career & College Transition Division Director Donna Wyatt; and Government Affairs Director Debra Brown and her colleague Alejandro Espinoza. The A-Team representing the field included CCAE President Sue Gilmore; CAEAA Past President and Hacienda La Puente Superintendent Cyndi Parulan-Colfer; CAEAA Leg Chair and CCAE Board Member Bob Harper; CTA Representative Wendy Dillingham; and yours truly, Dawn Koepke your CCAE and CAEAA Legislative and Budget Advocate. SPI Torlakson was very engaged and up to speed on the happenings with adult education. Nevertheless, we reminded him of the long road we've traveled over the last few years; the successes we've had to date; the challenges we continue to have; pushed him to take a stronger leadership role within the AEBG and with the Chancellor's office; and more. He was receptive to all we had to share and discuss. He also indicates that he is meeting with the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and is prepared to help us in our push to address some of the key remaining challenges we've highlighted in our attached Framework. All very positive!
In terms of what we can expect from the 2017-2018 Legislature....much remains to be seen. While the activity at the federal level has many concerned for adult education and the students we serve, we are committed to continuing our fight to protect K12 based adult education and have no indication whatsoever that California under the new Legislature will do anything less than provide its full support.
Of note, Assembly Democrats were successful in gaining a super majority with three seats changing hands. Assemblyman David Hadley (R) lost to former Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D)(K12 adult education supporter), Assemblyman Eric Linder (R) lost to Sabrina Cervantez (D) and Assemblywoman Young Kim (R) lost to former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D). Relative to inter-party fights, former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D) regained his seat from ardent K12 adult education supporter Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D); and moderate Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown (D) was unseated by the more progressive Eloise Reyes (D).
In the Senate, Democrats are also on the verge of a two-thirds supermajority with ballots in the Orange County Senate District 29 race between Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) and Democrat Josh Newman continuing to be counted and the race too close to call even two weeks after the General Election.
On the initiative front, California will see many policy shifts in the New Year as well as the continuation of the Proposition 30 tax on wealthy Californians through 2030 to help fund education via voter approval of Proposition 55. And as the dust continues to settle and the close races await confirmation of final vote counts, we now look to December 5th when the 2017-2018 Legislature will be sworn in to office. While some reports suggest a host of new moderate members will infuse the Assembly, the proof is in the pudding as we move into what is already shaping up to be a big year ahead on a number of policy fronts. A big unknown is how the two-thirds in the Assembly, and possibly the Senate, will play out - will moderates feel empowered to stand together or will members fall in line with leadership and more progressive ideals? Time will tell....and we're waiting with baited breath....
In the meantime and even after December 5th, we encourage you to get to know your local elected officials - especially new members. This is a great time of the year to visit them during their coffee hours and holiday open houses. To learn more about those types of events, we encourage you to visit their webpages after December 5th and sign up for their weekly or monthly district newsletters. These are a great way to learn more about what your legislators are doing for you and your community, to learn about district events, and more. And remember, as you meet with members in the district be sure to let CCAE and CAEAA know. Meetings and meet-and-greets do not need to be focused on a specific agenda and talking points at this point in the year, just get to know them and develop a rapport and ensure they know about your adult school and the benefit you provide to their community. That said, if you would like to or are asked about our agenda for the new session, feel free to share the attached Framework.
Once the Governor releases his 2017-2018 budget proposal, we'll be quickly evaluating the details, reporting out on them and developing talking points for the field in anticipation of Leg Day at the Capitol on April 4th. Be sure to mark your calendars and make arrangements to attend!
In the meantime, I wish you a happy, joyful and peaceful holiday season. I am thankful for you and look forward to another great year together! Cheers!
With the arrival of 2018, we find Sacramento filled with anticipation....the return of the Legislature from interim recess, the introduction of new bills, the last chance for 2-Year bills introduced and still in their house-of-origin from 2017 to remain active, and the widely anticipated release of the Governor's FY 18-19 Budget Plan. What also makes 2018 a year of anticipation is the fact that it is also a significant election year in California with statewide as well as legislative offices up for vote. Election years typically evoke a mixture of excitement and uncertainty and this year is no exception - will politics win over policy? Will candidates supporting causes near and dear to our hearts win their races? Who will be our next Governor? How will recent scandals affect the budget and legislative process this year, particularly in light of the loss of the Assembly's supermajority?
So many questions.....so few answers....
Nevertheless, CAEAA and CCAE are well positioned to move adult education forward into FY 18-19 and in doing so strengthen access to all. As in years past, we are putting forth credible, reasonable and workable priorities for consideration as part of the budget and legislative processes. The priorities are based on feedback from the field and include the following:
- Establishing a statewide indirect rate under the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) capped at 5% or less
- Increasing AEBG funding and establishing an AEBG cost of living adjustment (COLA)
- Establishing performance-based funding for communities of need
- Building upon and incorporating immigrant integration metrics into AEBG
- Revising the term "Grant" in AEBG
- Establishing a common fee policy for Career Technical Education (CTE)
With the positive fiscal outlook released by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) this fall and the state's strong interest in protecting and providing pathways for immigrants, we feel strongly that this is our year and these priorities would make a positive difference in the ongoing AEBG work. Further, leadership from both CCAE and CAEAA participated in a number of meetings this fall with the Department of Finance (DOF), LAO, Legislature and other stakeholders to discuss these priorities and begin our push to have them incorporated into the budget in the FY 18-19 cycle. While nothing is as of yet a sure thing, these priorities were positively received and there was acknowledgement that they were indeed credible and reasonable. That said and as noted by the LAO and Legislature, the Governor's fiscal projections are often more conservative in January than what the LAO and Legislature might project. Further, the uncertain impacts associated with federal policy and budget changes are likely to lead the Administration to be even more cautious. Nevertheless, at this point the fiscal situation is looking positive for not only fully implementing the Governor's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) plan, an Administration priority, but also for pushing forth some additional state priorities.
Likely of most interest to the field is our proposal to increase AEBG funding by $110 million and establish an ongoing COLA. While we acknowledge the proposed increase would not yet put adult education funding at the pre-recession levels, we feel strongly that this is a reasonable proposal that is based in concrete and defensible numbers that will provide room for growth, addressing communities of need as proposed by Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and help to address ongoing cost increases. Furthermore, the proposal is a strategic one that proposes a lower infusion of revenue into AEBG with the compromise being adoption of an ongoing COLA as well. The COLA component will not only help with year-over-year cost increases, but it is also intended as a signal to business officials further solidifying AEBG funding as a long-term funding system as committed to by DOF.
Another key priority is the incorporation of immigrant integration metrics into AEBG, building upon the data already reported and collected through CASAS.
As you well know, serving immigrant adults in need of English language skills has been at the core of the K12 adult education mission since its inception. They come to adult schools to develop literacy, and in doing so, gain cultural competency and literacy more broadly defined as health, financial, digital literacy, parenting and family literacy, and civic engagement, all also critical to successful transition to college and careers. Unfortunately, however, the AEBG statute does not explicitly provide for these types of immigrant integration metrics relative to demonstrating outcomes and accountability for student success. In this regard, we are growing concerned that immigrant students who may not yet have the skills to demonstrate outcomes on the current statutory spectrum that focuses solely on literacy and career progress will eventually be left behind as AEBG entities seek to focus on programming for those students for which clear outcomes and progress can be measured and for which funding may eventually be prioritized.
While some of our own have expressed concern about moving too fast in this space, it is important to note that many metrics are already defined and data related to those metrics are actually already collected in part through CASAS and TOPSpro Enterprise. The key is tying the data being reported to the outcomes associated specifically with immigrant integration outcomes. Over the coming weeks and months we will be providing more detailed information regarding these metrics and how they will utilize and build upon data already being reported and collected. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work of the Alliance for Language Learners' Integration, Education and Success (ALLIES) - an alliance serving the two-county Silicon Valley region of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties - that has developed an Immigrant Integration Pathway offering an innovative way to identify and measure the critical factors for successful immigrant integration. CAEAA and CCAE's very own Board Member Dr. Bob Harper and others in the local AEBG consortia were instrumental in working with ALLIES on the development of this Pathway. Please see https://www.allies4innovation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Allies_WhitePaper_ImmigrantIntegrationFramework-hr.pdf.
On the CTE front, we have more work to do. Many of you will recall SB 173 (Liu, 2014) called for recommendations to be offered regarding the establishment of a common fee policy and perhaps elimination of fees altogether. While we've attempted to provide some feedback on the issue in recent years, the issue is complicated and inevitably a common fee policy would lead to funding deficits for adult schools absent an infusion of revenue to backfill lost fee revenue. Further complicating the fee discussion is the issue of federal funds and how they could be impacted by a change in the fee policy for adult schools. In this regard, we've noted our commitment to continuing to work on the issue. To that end, CCAE and CAEAA will be meeting later this month in Sacramento to have an in-depth discussion with both boards in an attempt to come up with recommendations that are workable and take all of the issues in to account. Stay tuned....
In the meantime, we have our work cut out for us. While we are well positioned this year to make a good deal of headway on these issues, it will not come easy and without all of us doing our part on the grassroots (YOU!), advocacy (ALL OF US!), public relations and political fronts. In the coming weeks we will be providing you with talking points as well as sample letters, resolutions, etc. to use at the local level with your fellow K12 colleagues, Superintendents, School Board members, community based organizations, legislators, and more. This will absolutely need to be a full-court press to get us over the finish line. And in addition to our work together, CCAE this fall hired Kelli Reid and McNally Temple Associates, a Sacramento based public and media relations firm, to help us with getting our message out and building momentum. They've already produced and distributed a few pieces helping to pave the way and generate buzz regarding adult education and our priorities. We have a lot of big plans in store for the coming months....stay tuned...and please click on the hot links below.
In terms of next steps, the Governor will release his January Budget Plan next week (Wednesday, January 10th). Keep in mind, the budget summary that will be released is the tops-of-the-trees relative to his Plan. It may contain specifics regarding adult education or it may not, but if it doesn't please rest assured that isn't the end of the road. In our discussions with DOF this fall they're very much open to working with us this year and much of the work we will be moving forward will likely be contained within the budget trailer bills that will be released and revised weeks after the initial Plan summary is released. Adding further reassurance of DOF's willingness to work with us, I'm pleased to announce they will be joining us as a speaker at the CAEAA Conference in February along with the LAO, Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Chairman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Governor Brown's Director of Immigrant Integration Dan Torres, CDE's Carolyn Zachry and many more influential and dynamic speakers.
Finally, please stay tuned for a series of webinars we will be conducting to provide further detail on the priorities, insight on conversations and advocacy in Sacramento, and our plan of action.
We are setting our sights high for FY 18-19 and hope you're feeling the excitement and opportunity that we are!
Happy new year......let's get to work....strength in numbers!
Cristina Ulrich and Denise Carrasco are students at San Mateo Adult School. They are currently in the GED and High School Diploma program, respectively, and formerly in the ESL program. They both served as Student Leaders on the SMAS Student Council. Cristina was Vice President of the Morning Student Council and Denise was President of the same. They are advocates for Adult Education and Adult Schools and have attended and presented at numerous conferences, including regional and state CCAE conferences and the national AAACE conference. Recently, they attended the Network for Public Education 2017 Conference in Oakland. Here is their report:
Cristina, Denise, Cynthia
at NPE 2017
We are Cristina Ulrich and Denise Carrasco, former ESL students at San Mateo Adult School. For a long time we have been interested in adult education and student leadership, which are two of the reasons that have kept us helping and participating in the school´s activities. We are truly convinced that getting information about this area will help us to be better people, and to be well prepared in our future activities as students, parents, and professionals. We know that adult education has been affected in different ways, cuts on funds, closed schools, cuts on programs, and so. However, we have an opportunity to still show that adult school works for us in many ways. That’s why we decided to attend to the National Public Education Conference (NPE) 2017.
The conference was held on October 14th and 15th in Oakland, CA. The main topic was about the concern of fighting for public education against the privatization of education which is part of the new Trump administration. This experience was different than others where we had participated because this time we went as spectators not as presenters. We applied to present a workshop, but the organizers decided that our topic would probably be less interesting for people since the goal was to have as many people interested in the topic as possible. We understood the decision and decided to attend three workshops because we are aware of the importance of fighting for public education, and because we like to learn about how we can help our school.
The first workshop we attended was called “United We Stand Divided We Fall: Opposing Trump´s Education Agenda.” Our first thought was “if it is against Trump´s ideology we should go.” As a general idea, the group of panelists talked about the importance of being informed about what´s the idea of education for President Trump. We immediately thought about how many of our students know about this? How many know what kind of school his or her son or daughter is attending ? How many know who Betsy DeVos is? How many know what's the difference between a charter school and a public school? There are several questions that, as immigrants, we almost never ask. First, because of the language as a barrier to get information. Second, because of the cost of life is too expensive that people are focused on surviving, and sometimes they don't have time to investigate other things. Third, because many times we have thought “oh if my daughter or son is taking classes in a school in the U.S it is ok.” We definitely need an answer to our previous questions. We need to be informed about public education and privatization of education. We will be affected by this one day. The panelist were asking for parents to spread the information because their children take classes mostly in public schools. Parents need to know the future of public education because this time, it’s not only about San Mateo Adult School, but also it’s about the school of our children.
The second workshop was called “Ed-Tech Today: Providing Hope and Opportunity or a Pathway to the Gig Economy for Tomorrow?” We really enjoyed this workshop. The general idea was to understand how affected are children by technology and innovation, as well what is the real purpose of the use of technology at school. As parents, we can think about giving a new device to our little ones because they deserved it. However, how many of the students who have children know about the time their children spend behind a screen at school? How many of the students know about School Loop, or Summit Learning Platform? This workshop made us think about this. We know that we can´t stop technology, but we can control its use at home. The panelist explained that it is not about how technology can help our children succeed at school and life because technology has been training our children in order to know how to get information and preparation by using different software and devices, at school and home. In some high schools children use a computer instead of notebooks. We know that this topic could be an issue for some students, and for other students it is not. However, for those interested in learning more about the information in this workshop we share with you a link from one of the panelist, so you can read information in there. https://www.scoop.it/t/educational-psychology-technology
The third workshop we attended was called “Building Parent Power for Education Justice.” We definitely end up loving this workshop. We wanted to bring the panelists with us to San Mateo Adult School to share the information we got which is something really important for parents and future parents. There was an association hosting the workshop, its name is PLAN (Parent Leadership Action Network). This association has been working mainly in Oakland, CA and its purpose was to share with the audience how they engage parents to work together as a community fighting for their rights and the rights of their children attending a public school. They have been asking for a better quality education especially for students of color. The panelists gave us information about how parents can work with their children´s schools. As we mentioned before, sometimes we are ok if our children go to a school in the U.S; however, we are still the main people responsible for our children. We have to participate in their school life.
Besides this wonderful idea of working with parents, this workshop gave us the idea of having something similar in our school. We should find a better way to communicate with teachers, administrators, student community, and student leaders in order to plan a strategy to defend our school, our right to have a public school where we can learn not only English as a second language, or to get a high school diploma, but also to be engaged with the community. Privatization is going to affect all of us. It is not something related to K-12 since we are part of public education. We think there should be more students involved in these kind of events. We need to raise our voices because we are the parents they were talking about. Our children are the children they said will be affected by these measures of President Trump. Our school is part of public education. Our teachers are part of the teachers affected by the abuse in the use of technology in the curriculum. We need to find the way to integrate our school in these kinds of workshop. We were declined, maybe because we were two adult students fighting for a place in the conference. We have the same purpose they do. We want to support our school. We know it’s not going to be an easy task, but at least we can try; who knows if the next time we will be giving a different speech in our report to the adult student community.
We had an incredible and unique experience attending this conference. We learned that our school is part of the public system, so we should be there in a workshop as well on the next time. We also want to invite other students to learn a little more about your school, and your children´s schools because there is more than the things you see. Finally, we want to say thank you to the teacher´s union for its support (CFT Local 4681). Thank you so much because you basically made possible this opportunity for us. Thanks to our director, Tim Doyle, because he is still believing in us. Thanks to Marina Kravstova for your support and ideas. Thanks to Cynthia Eagleton who has been teaching us much more than English. Especially thanks to our teachers during our pathway in San Mateo Adult School because of you we are able to express our thoughts.
Adult Learner voice and leadership is crucial to the success of Adult Education.Thank you, Cristina and Denise, for attending the conference, providing us with this report, and doing the advocacy work you do - which has had a tremendous impact not only at our school but across the state.
Via this map, we can see, in counties or regions, how many immigrants are eligible to become naturalized citizens - and their native country - and how their naturalization would increase the number of eligible voters in their district.
Providing citizenship classes is part of the mission of Adult Education in California.
Given what's happened to Adult Ed since the Big Crash of 2009 and how underfunded it remains, how available are citizenship classes in any given area? How about in the areas of greatest need? Or the areas where their citizenship would have the greatest impact in terms of civic engagement and voting? Inadequate funding for Adult Ed = Inadequate access for citizenship classes.
If eligible immigrants could find a class and became citizens, how would that affect voting patterns - wins and losses - where they lived?
This map divides up the state primarily by county - partial, single or multiple. The new California Adult Education Regional Consortium system in Adult Ed was set up by county.
So this map is a great way to see the potential impact of Adult Ed funding - adequate or inadequate - on voting. And voting, not voting, and voter suppression - hopefully, we all know the impact of that!
For those who are just beginning to understand what's happening in Adult Ed, Adult Ed in California is funded primarily by the state. Only a small portion of funding is federal.
How much does an awareness of that impact affect decisions of state legislators to fund or not fund or inadequately fund Adult Ed?
Who votes to adequately fund Adult Ed? Who doesn't vote to adequately fund for Adult Ed? Where do they live and who lives in their district?
For example, if all eligible immigrants in Northeast Monterey County - the Salinas area - became naturalized citizens, that would be an 21.5 percent increase in number of voters in the area. Big impact!
Who benefits from adequate funding of Adult Ed? Who benefits from inadequate funding for Adult Ed?
Important questions. Important map. Check it out. http://dornsife.usc.edu/csii/eligible-to-naturalize-map/
On October 15th and 16th, I attended the 4th Network for Public Education Conference, held this year in Oakland, CA, along with two Adult Learners, Critina Munoz-Ulrich and Denise Carrasco, an Adult School teachers, Kristen Pursley, and an Adult Education supporter (and retired community college instructor), George Pursley. This was my third NPE Conference, having attended the first one in Austin, Texas in 2014 and presented along with Kristen Pursley and Bruce Neuburger at the second one in 2015 in Chicago.
As always, there is much to learn from, share, and digest from the conference. I plan to slowly share some of what I learned in this blog and to post some writings from others who attended. Videos from some of the conferences will be posted on the NPE website soon.
Adult Education is part of Public Education - but sometimes it feels as if we are seated at the "kid's table." In truth, we are not only at the table, we are part of the table, holding up and stabilizing the other members with our contributions.
It is important that we attend conferences and belong to organizations that are not specific to Adult Education for two reasons:
1. To bring our voices, knowledge and concerns to these usually larger discussions
2. To learn from them and to bring back what we learn to the Adult Ed community
That takes time and effort we in Adult Ed sometimes don't have - given our struggles with funding and stability, new rules and regulations. But we need to find the time and to support each other in participating in these conferences and organizations, including fundraising the attendance of teachers and students. Students, in particular, need to be supported in attending these events.
**Tell Governor Brown to Sign SB 68 (Lara) Today!**
As you may know, we have less than 12 hours left to go in the 2017 Legislative Session. The Legislature has been on the Senate and Assembly Floor for the last two weeks working through hundreds of bills in preparation for adjournment this evening. By the time they adjourn, they will be sending hundreds of bills to the Governor for his signature by October 15th.
One of the key bills CAEAA and CCAE have actively supported is SB 68 (Lara) related to postsecondary education and nonresident tuition exemptions. More specifically, the bill would modernize AB 540 (2001), thus enabling more students to pursue their higher education dreams, regardless of their immigration status. It expands the AB 540 eligibility criteria for the exemption from paying nonresident tuition at California's public postsecondary institutions, in part, to include students who have two years of full-time enrollment at a CCC, up to three years of full-time enrollment at an adult school, and would allow the completion of an associate's degree or satisfaction of the minimum requirements to transfer to the UC or CSU, in lieu of a high school diploma.
The bill has passed both the Senate and Assembly and is now headed to the Governor's desk for his consideration. CCAE and CAEAA have submitted a strong letter of support to the Governor, requesting his signature on the measure. That said, his Department of Finance has an "oppose" position on the bill because it could expand exemptions from paying nonresident tuition to a significant number of students. DOF argues that such an expansion would create budget pressures, including new General Fund obligations, when the Administration is seeking to pay down liabilities and grow the rainy day fund. As you can imagine, such an oppose position could negatively impact the Governor's view of the measure when it is before him for consideration.
That said, given his strong support for our immigrant communities, we remain hopeful that compassion and good policy - not fiscal issues - will save the day. BUT....we can't take that for granted! We strongly urge you and everyone in your network to utilize the sample support letter HERE to send to the Governor urging him to sign the bill. It is an easy process, as follows:
- Update the letter (at least the date and your name) and, if you would like (not necessary) add any further detail, story, etc. that you believe would help make the case for signing the bill. To the extent that your school board, superintendent and staff would be open to sending a similar letter, I would strongly urge you to seek their support, as well as that of your students. If a letter is being sent on behalf of a school board, superintendent, etc. please put the letter on official letterhead, although not necessary.
- Send the letter via fax to the Governor at:
o (916) 558-3160
- ALSO, please send the letter via email to BOTH of the following email addresses:
Of note, CCAE and CAEAA are highly sensitive to the concerns of our students regarding immigration status. If a student has concerns regarding their status and potential implications with sending this letter but they would like to submit a letter in support of the bill nonetheless, please feel free to have them sign with just their first name and please offer to help with submission.
Again, we would like to generate as many letters as possible. The Governor has until October 15th to act on the measure, but may do so as early as next week. As such, please be sure to get your letters in ASAP. Strength in numbers!
– If you qualify for DACA, but have not submitted your application: DACA initial request applications will no longer be reviewed.
– If you currently have DACA: ...You can keep using your employment authorization/social security number.
– If your DACA is going to expire before/on March 5, 2018: You can apply to renew it. Note: You should try to submit your renewal application by October 2017 (this will be within the six-month period needed to receive a decision).
- Regarding advance parole: If you have DACA and had plans to travel abroad using advance parole (AP), new Form I-131 applications for advance parole will not be reviewed. If you received your AP approval before 9/5/17, it will still be honored. Pending applications will be denied and the money will be refunded.
The full post:
Earlier this summer, Ken Paxton (attorney general of Texas) issued a statement where he called on the current administration to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) federal program. Ken was joined by 10 other states who threatened to sue the administration if they did not end DACA by Tuesday September 5th of 2017. As a response, this morning (9/5/17), attorney general Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration is rescinding DACA. The administration is now giving Congress six months to act and come up with a “solution”.
What does this mean for undocumented young adults?
– If you qualify for DACA, but have not submitted your application: DACA initial request applications will no longer be reviewed.
– If you currently have DACA: You can keep using your employment authorization/social security number.
– If your DACA is going to expire before/on March 5, 2018: You can apply to renew it. Note: You should submit your renewal application by October 5, 2017 (this will be within the six-month period needed to receive a decision).
– Regarding advance parole: If you have DACA and had plans to travel abroad using advance parole (AP), new Form I-131 applications for advance parole will not be reviewed. If you received your AP approval before 9/5/17, it will still be honored. Pending applications will be denied and the money will be refunded.
“Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum.
Will reject all DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after the date of this memorandum.
Will adjudicate—on an individual, case by case basis—properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between the date of this memorandum and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted by the Department as of October 5, 2017.
Will reject all DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed outside of the parameters specified above.
Will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
Will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. Notwithstanding the continued validity of advance parole approvals previously granted, CBP will—of course—retain the authority it has always had and exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border and the eligibility of such persons for parole. Further, USCIS will—of course—retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
Will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.”
1) Take care of yourself and loved ones, and reach out for support. Undoubtedly, the administration’s decision to rescind DACA will have devastating consequences in our community. We must support each other and take care of our health.
2) Stay up to date. At My Undocumented Life blog, we will continue to provide the latest information on DACA, advance parole, ways to take action/support undocumented immigrants, and more.
3) Join an immigrant rights organization in your community. You are not alone. The decision to rescind DACA (and the ongoing attacks on the undocumented community more broadly) are inhumane and unjust. We must organize, fight back, and escalate. As one of my dear friends shared, “nos quitaron tanto, que nos quitaron el miedo”.
Make sure to bookmark and share our more general Post-Election Information page which contains other relevant information and resources.
Be sure to “like” this blog on Facebook and subscribe to get daily updates on new scholarship opportunities, DACA, DAPA, & much more – see top right corner of page (or scroll down if you are visiting from your phone).
Tell Your Story - Get Your Organization Recognized
Our Collective Campaign
Our 55,000+ adult education leaders stand united in a national campaign called Educate & Elevate to inform policy makers and our community about how we move learning opportunities forward for all Americans to achieve economic mobility. If we educate, then we elevate--- our students, workers, businesses, and our economic growth.
As part of our campaign, we are asking that adult educators submit success stories, customer testimonials, and innovations that will proudly be displayed on our campaign website which is currently in development. We are looking for both student and employer successes to share.
There are three types of submissions. Click on the links below to complete a brief online form and instructions for submissions.
Success Story--- a narrative that shares the challenge(s), solution(s), and outcome(s) of a student or employer.
Customer Testimonial--- a first-person quote from a student about how adult education supported their goals and dreams and/or from an employer who had a great experience with an adult education organization and/or an adult learner.
Innovation--- a narrative summary of an adult education program, project, or initiative that you believe has been innovative in helping students, employers, and/or your community.
The power of these collective stories across the nation will inspire and inform policy makers, business leaders, community leaders and many more!
We are requesting submissions for our initial launch by 5/30/17, and we will enter you into a drawing for a free ticket to attend COABE 2018 in Phoenix, AZ on March 25-28, 2018!
A Mandarin dual-immersion school coming to Richmond next year is roiling adult education teachers in the city, who fear the new campus will ultimately disrupt long-established programs that cater to many in the community's low-income, immigrant population.
The highly-touted new Mandarin school, which will at first offer three kindergarten classes and then expand after the 2018 academic year, will be temporarily housed at the Serra Adult School campus. It will be one of four public schools in the state that offer school-wide immersion programs in Mandarin.
While adult education teachers have been quick to praise the district for offering the immersion program to the community's youth, some expressed concern that its placement at the Serra campus will displace continuing education courses already there, specifically English language and high school equivalency programs.
"It all feels very uncertain," said Kristen Pursley, who has been teaching at Serra since the 1990s. "We haven't been a part of the discussion, whatsoever, so we don't know what's next."
The district is spending $125,000 to upgrade the Serra Adult School campus for kindergarten students, and an additional $75,000 will be spent to build a kindergarten playground. Because of these expenditures, some teachers believe that all adult education classes at Serra will eventually be reduced, moved, or canceled completely, a claim the district has denied.
However, the adult education's administrative offices have already been forced to relocate three miles away to Alvarado Adult School, decentralizing a hub that is essential for academic testing, teachers said. Physical education classes have also had to switch times and locations. The district claims that "nearly all" of the adult education classes at Serra will run uninterrupted through 2018, but a location plan for the 2019 academic year has yet to be finalized.
Teachers argue that the district's focus on the immersion program has been myopic and irresponsible.
"In order to create a new resource, they’re kind of breaking up and damaging a resource they already have," Pursley said. "When you do that, you’re not really gaining anything. You’re trading one of thing for another."
About 40 supporters of the Serra campus rallied the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday evening, pleading with the board to take into account program displacement before expanding the Mandarin immersion school. They would like to see a guarantee that adult education can remain at Serra after the next year, a reassurance that the district has been reluctant to offer.
Educators also expressed concern that future students wouldn't have easy access to similar programs if the courses do move over to the Alvarado campus. A location-preference survey filled out by Serra attendees overwhelmingly showed that people from the northern areas of Richmond and from San Pablo would have a difficult time getting to Alvarado.
"When I started taking classes, I didn't know any English," said Rosa Alvez, who now works for the school district and has gone on to earn two degrees. "The ones who make decisions still don't understand how important it is for the ESL students to learn English here. This program opens many doors for us and it looks like they are trying to keep them closed to us."
Jim Knebelman, who teaches English courses at Serra, said displacing a school that caters to an immigrant community currently "under attack" from the Trump administration goes against Richmond's values.
"It's like an absurd, cruel joke," Knebelman said. "They're going to be displacing a school that overwhelmingly serves people of color and immigrants to build the immersion school. And it's not just the English language classes -- it's also high school equivalency. Those are kids from flatlands who, for whatever reason, didn't finish the first time around."
In an email to NBC Bay Area, Superintendent Matt Duffy reiterated his commitment to adult education offerings in the community. He also noted that the immersion school would only be at the Serra campus for a few years.
"To be clear, there is absolutely no intent to shutter Adult Education," Duffy wrote.
In a previous letter to the Richmond community, Duffy wrote that moving adult education from Serra could actually benefit its students.
"The District is also looking at this transition as an opportunity to review where our adult education classes are held," Duffy wrote in the letter. "There may be an opportunity to locate classes closer to public transportation and in more locations throughout the District, which may better serve our adult students."
But the letter did little to assuage displacement anxieties, and it ultimately irked teachers who view the campus as a home and welcoming environment rather than a simple brick-and-mortar location.
Pursley believes the Mandarin school's expansion, and the good publicity it has generated for the school district, will make it a priority that comes before the adult school. And, when the Mandarin school finds a new permanent campus in three to four years time, some teachers are under the impression that they won't get the campus back. Instead, they fear it will be sold to a charter school or used to house other programs.
"One of the things the district is trying to do is diffuse the situation and take away the sense of urgency, by saying 'you're okay for one year'," Pursley said. "We appreciate that them trying to mitigate some of the damages, but it's not permanent...It doesn't seem like they view this as a resource."
She continued: "If the Mandarin school grows — and everyone here hopes it will — we're fully believe we are going to get pushed out."