Scaling Back on Adult Educational Program Funding

We have read the stories time and time again. Nativists self proclaiming English as the official language and telling Latinos to learn how to speak English because this is America. There is even a Facebook page named after the argument. The truth is the first settled colonies in the Americas were Spanish. A fact left out of school text books around the country. But that’s another blog for another time.

Back to the topic. Of course, this ignorance has no place in a world where the United States lags behind Asia and Europe in education and, in certain instances, poor  investment in  human capital. But it seems to fit the comfortable nativists who have no idea  about hard adult Latinos struggle to find English literacy programs. Particularly ever since states are cutting their funding.

For example, An article in stated

The Enid-[Oklahoma] based adult education and English as a Second Language program took a stinging $71,000 budget hit when Oklahoma Department of Education allotted $0 as the required state match to federal funding for adult education programs. That leaves $83,000 in federal money for the Enid program.

This cut resulted in enrollment restrictions, indefinitely suspending classes and teacher layoffs. Federal funds are also in question since funds from the state are $0.

In Pennsylvania, adult educational programs received funding cuts of 17 percent according to

When the funding cuts were made, the local literacy program budget went from $145,000 per year to $92,000 per year.  Hours for evening classes were cut to four hours per week from five and six weeks were cut out of the schedule completely. Materials for classes have been scaled back. The once-a-week program at the Avon Grove library was eliminated.

The major areas of support are Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and English Language Acquisition. These programs emphasize basic skills, such as reading, writing, math, English language competency and problem solving. 

But because there is such a demand for English as a Second Language in the Kennett area, the Adult Literacy program focuses on this. And because it’s not broader in concept like other Adult Literacy programs, state funding at previous levels will never come back, Jacobi said.

Of course detractors from adult literary programs would go on to argue that Americans should not subsidize this type of initiatives but then their ” this is America, speak English” is a moot point especially when it’s apparent that there is a will among adult Latinos, foreign born, to learn English. Unfortunately, the programs that would enable them to reach that goal are scarce, at best.

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One Response to “Scaling Back on Adult Educational Program Funding”

  1. Good points Efrain and I would add another: every study that has examined whether Latinos are trying to learn English has shown that the vast majority of Latino immigrants are trying to learn English. They do these damn studies every other year and the results are the same. The question I have is: why doesn’t this info make it into the pointy heads of the nativists?

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