Meeting with State Senator Mark DeSaulnier

State Senator Mark DeSaulnier held office hours in Moraga on Saturday, August 14, and I was able to meet with him to discuss concerns about adult education.  I came with a list of questions that was formulated at the previous Communities Organized to Save Adult School (COSAS)  meeting, and Senator DeSaulnier listened attentively and answered them all.  He said he is supportive of adult education and that he has visited the Mt. Diablo and Loma Vista programs several times.  He has not, however, visited the program in West Contra Costa, and he said he would be interested in visiting us and seeing what we do.

He stated that he is opposed to cuts that destroy infrastructure that would then have to be rebuilt, and he considers cuts that eliminate adult education programs to fall into this category.  He agreed that it would ultimately be more costly to reconstruct  needed services that have been completely eliminated than to keep the services running, even if they must be run at reduced levels.

In response to our question about who heads the education committee in the state congress, he mentioned that Loni Hancock is on the committee and would be a good person to talk to.  He also said that Tom Torlackson is good on education and is running for the position of state superintendent of public instruction.  He stated that the current state superintendent, Jack O’Connell, is also good.

In response to our question about who might have data on the effects of the cuts to adult education, including which adult schools have closed and which remained open, he said he did not know but would find out.  He seemed very interested in this question and said it would be good information to have.  He said he will have his aide, Satinder Malhi, get in touch with us.

I asked Senator DeSaulnier if he would endorse Measure M, the parcel tax to support West Contra Costa Unified School District.  He said he thought he already had, but he would check into it. He is supportive of the measure.

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