Upcoming Events and Recent Developments

From now on, the blog will be frequently updated, so please subscribe so you will get updates regarding new postings.  Please post comments and please get involved! We need you!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Email Kristen Pursley at kpursley@pacbell.net if you have questions about any of the following or would like to get involved.

West Contra Costa Board of Education Meeting Wednesday, January 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm, LaVonya DeJean Middle School Multi-purpose Room, 3400 MacDonald Avenue, Richmond

Come support adult education! There will be a report about all the things the district does to support parents, and some adult education programs such as Parent Education, Community Based English Tutoring (CBET), and English Literacy Civics will probably be mentioned.  If you are a teacher who has seen students benefit from these programs, please come and speak out during the comment period, and encourage your students and their children to speak also.   Speaking in front of the board can be a great confidence-builder for students, and the board needs to hear from them. There may also be more information about the budget at this meeting.

Next COSAS meeting Thursday, January 21 at 2:00 pm at Serra Adult School, Room 8

Come help  plan for the Save Adult Education summit.

Save Adult Education Summit Saturday, January 30 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Easter Hill United Methodist Church, 3911 Cutting Boulevard, Richmond, 94804

Adult educaton is a vital part of West County’s infrastructure.  How will the community be affected if the adult school program closes, especially at this time of economic crisis?  Join adult school teachers and students, community members, and organizations that partner with adult school to learn more about what adult education does and strategize about how to save it.  This event is co-sponsored by Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Concilio Latino.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Friday, January 15, Concilio Latino meeting

Several members of COSAS attended the Concilio Latino meeting to update the Concilio about the state of adult education and invite Concilio members to the Save Adult Education Summit.  The Concilio has already agreed to co-sponsor the event, and they were very supportive.

Monday, January 11,  COSAS meeting

Present: Lisa Raffel, Judi Jung, Inocencia Dacumos, Karen Lang, Pat Miles, Ken Ryan, Kristen Pursley. In addition to planning for the summit, the group discussed other actions to take, as follows: 

1)  Find out what is happening in Hayward, where Madeleine Kronenberg teaches, since she stated at the last school board meeting  that WCCAE needs at “new business model” – presumably she has Hayward in mind.

2)  Find out what is really going on with adult education’s budget.

3)  Talk to grant makers interested in immigrant and refugee rights.

4)  Continue to get the truth about adult education out to the community, so that the community, elected officials, etc. fully understand WCCAE.  We need to demonstrate the impact on real lives and tell the stories of people whose lives have been affected by adult education.

5)  Arrange for meetings between individual Board of Education members and small groups of COSAS members.

Wednesday, January 9, Board of Education Meeting

At this meeting, despite a strong showing by adult education supporters, the Board voted to sweep $2 million in adult education funds into the district’s general reserve.  There were about fifty adult education supporters at the meeting, wearing pink “I Support Adult Education” badges, and many carrying signs. Twelve people spoke in favor of adult education and against the sweep during the public comment period; both students and teachers spoke, representing a variety of adult education departments, including Older Adult, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, High School Diploma and Parent Education. Judi Jung performed a rap, and Pat Coleman of NIAD spoke on behalf of Adults with Disabilities.  The Board stated that they had to put the adult education money into their reserve, because, under state law, they have to have a 3% reserve, and they are short.  Sheri Gamba told the Board that the sweep did not represent a further cut to this year’s operating expenses.

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