Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Edsource Article About Adult Education Budget Features San Mateo Adult School

Last week, Edsource published an article about Adult Education.  Edsource is an online journal about education.  A journal is like a newspaper.  The title of the article was "Governor’s proposed budget called “a gift” to adult education."  

You can read about Governor Brown's proposal and the budget process here in this ESL Student blog post.

ESL Teacher Patricia Brown
Photo credit:  Liv Ames for Edsource
Susan Frey, a reporter for Edsource, and Liv Aames, a photographer, came to our school to interview people and take photos for the article.

ESL Morning Student Council President
Daniel Pec

The reporter talked to ESL Teacher Patricia Brown and students in her class.  One of the students she talked to was Daniel Pec.  He is the Morning ESL Student Council President.

The article reports:
Daniel Pec is a 28-year-old immigrant from Guatemala who attends San Mateo Adult School. He said even though both San Mateo College and the adult school offer ESL classes, the focus of the two programs is different. Pec is trained in computer science and expects to eventually go to college, but for now he needs to learn English and support his family.

“The community college is very expensive, and it is more book English,” Pec said, adding that he likes the adult school because he has a chance to practice the language, which has helped him in his job at a restaurant.

San Mateo Adult School
Assistant Director Tim Doyle
Photo credit:  Liv Ames for Edsource
The reporter talked to Assistant Director Tim Doyle.  They asked him questions about the new system for Adult Education, the Regional Consortia system.  You can learn more about Regional Consortia in this ESL Student Blog post.

The article reports:

“In some consortia, there is more overlap and more tension between community colleges and adult schools,” said Tim Doyle, assistant director of the San Mateo Adult School. “Here there is much more coordination. The local community college doesn’t do much of what we do.”

This means that San Mateo Adult School does different things than the College of San Mateo and Skyline College and Kenyatta College. 

The reporter talked with many students to understand what they are learning and doing at our school.

Hessam Ghajar, left, and Takeshi Naoi
practice English with classmates in a San Mateo Adult School class.
Photo credit:  Liv Ames for Edsource.

Marco Estrella, right, and Yu Liu practice English
in an ESL class at San Mateo Adult School.
Photo credit:  Liv Ames for Edsource.


She also talked with other people from other schools and organizations.  She talked with Debra Jones.  Debra Jones is part of the AB86 Cabinet.  This is the group in charge of the new Regional Consortia system.

The article reports:

Debra Jones, dean of career education practices at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, calls what is outlined in the budget “a gift to adult students.”

“I never dreamed I would see dedicated funding for disenfranchised adults,” Jones said. “We’re celebrating. Overall, this is pretty special.”

That means Ms. Jones was surprised and happy by the Governor's Budget Proposal.  Disenfranchised means without privilege or rights, especially the right to vote. The word disenfranchised has a feeling of without power.

We are happy, too.  But maybe we are not surprised.  Because we know that Adult Students have power.  They are smart.  They are strong.  They can and do express their ideas, experience, and wisdom.  They can and do take action.  They can and do write letters, visit legislators, and talk to the press.

The budget process is not over.  Governor Brown's proposal was the first step.  Now the Legislature and the public will discuss things.  The Legislature will make their own budget proposals.   Everyone will talk and argue and discuss and make changes and finally they will come to an agreement and the Governor will sign it.  The start of the new budget year is July 1, 2015.  July 1 is a kind of New Year's Day for the state.  The budget must be complete and ready to go by this day.

Former Morning ESL Student Council President
Hitomi explains the need for Dedicated Funding
for Adult Schools.
We are happy we are part of this discussion.  We need ideas and experience and wisdom from students, teachers, administrators, and the community to make a good future and good budget for Adult Education and the people of California.

When we make a budget for California, we are spending the people's money.  To make wise decisions, we need to know what the people need and want; we need to know how much money we have; and we need to think about the best way to spend so we get good results.

This is what we will do now until July 1, 2015.

You can read the full article in Edsource here.

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