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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Concerned about Adult Education Funding in PA?

You should be! Please read this message from JoAnn Weinberger, PAACE Legislative Committee Chair and President/Executive Director of the Center for Literacy in Philadelphia, act on it, and share it with everyone you can. Get adult learners involved as well - all voices count!


Although the State Budget for 2010-11 was passed and signed by the Governor, there is insufficient revenue in the budget to hold the line items. What does this mean? The $14,887,000 appropriation for adult and family literacy is in jeopardy! The Governor’s Office and the legislature are considering additional ways to cut the budget. Unfortunately, at this point they are not talking about ways to raise sufficient revenue.

What can you do? Here are three action items for your IMMEDIATE attention. We must make sure that the Governor and legislators know that adult literacy is important to the economic health of the Commonwealth.

1. Please go to the following link and sign our petition. Forward the link to friends, family, volunteers, students, board members, community partners, etc. ASAP. Challenge your programs to get over 50 signatures…imagine – if each program in the state got 100 signatures, we’d have 150,000 signatures in over a week! Challenge your teachers to have each student explain the reasons behind the petition and get 15 signatures on the paper petition.
There are almost 1,400 signatures. Our goal was 2,000 by Friday. Your outreach is critical. This petition will be sent to the Governor and legislature. (As of July 13 there were over 2,100 signatures but we are hoping to get 4,000.)

Please help out in this cause and add your voice to the petition:

2. Call, email, or snail mail your state representatives and senators. The message: “Adult literacy is critical for your constituents. It is the needed first step toward getting a job or training for today’s economy. Revenue needs to be increased so your constituents can receive needed services. In the past year, the budget has been cut by almost 50%. ” For student letters, here is a template:

Dear (Senator or Representative)_________________:

This year, despite major state cuts in the adult basic and literacy education budget, I was a lucky one to receive services at ________________ (name of program) and successfully (study for the GED, transition into the workforce, learn workplace skills, study English as a second language, etc.). Let me tell you my story:
Pennsylvania needs to take a balanced approach to the budget. I urge you to stop cutting funding to adult and family literacy education, higher education, hospitals, and social services. Please support increased revenue so there will be no more cuts.

(Typed Name if word processed)

3. Call or email Senator Casey and Senator Specter and your congressperson. When the state budget was passed, it relied on $850 million from the Federal Government, funding for Medicaid. At this time, Congress has not passed the needed legislation. Therefore, the message is “PA needs the Medicaid Funds (FMAP) in order to balance the state’s budget. Please vote for this appropriation in order to save vital education and human services including adult literacy.”



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