Sample Letter in Support of Adult School Parent Education Programs

The sample letter in support of adult school Parent Education programs below can be used as a model for similar letters to California legislators.   It is addressed to Senator Carol Liu,Chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Assembly Member Das Williams, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, because those two committees will hold a joint hearing regarding adult education on January 29.  Other suggested recipients would be Joan Buchanan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, and your own representatives for your area.

The letter follows:

Date: _________________

Senator Carol Liu

Chair, Senate Education Committee

State Capitol, Room 5097

Sacramento, CA 95814

Assembly Member Das Williams

Chair, Assembly Committee on Higher Education

State Capitol, Room 3149

Sacramento, CA 94248-0037

RE:  Hearing on Adult Education January 29: Parent Education

Dear Senator Liu and Assembly Member Williams:

I am very concerned about proposals to narrow the mission of adult education to exclude Parent Education. I request that this letter be shared with the Senate Education Committee and Assembly Higher Education Committee in preparation for the joint informational hearing on adult education that will take place on January 29.

California currently has a dramatically improving financial picture coupled with alarming rates of child poverty which are even higher for Latino children than for the general population.  If state funding for adult school and community college Parent Education programs is abolished, low income children will lose an important resource that could help them escape poverty. Instead of eliminating Parent Education programs, we need to expand them.

On January 6, The Center for the Next Generation issued a study entitled “Prosperity Threatened: Perspectives on Childhood Poverty in California.”  The study pointed out that one if five children in California live at or below the poverty line.  For Latino children, the figure is an even more shocking one in three.

At the same time, recent discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and behavioral science indicate that helping parents to develop their parenting and workforce skills is an effective strategy for supporting low-income children and helping them to escape from poverty. The state can ill afford to defund promising strategies for reducing child poverty such as Parent Education programs now. Poor children have poor parents who do not have extra money to pay for classes; state support for Parent Education classes will be necessary if the families that most need help are to benefit.

California’s economic future is brightening; it is time to improve the situation of the state’s children. This is the time to invest in our families and help parents and children escape from poverty.  Please retain state funding for Parent Education programs in California’s adult schools and community colleges.

Sincerely,

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