Illinois guts ESL funding

“..the grant that funds your position is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2009…”

Everyone was talking about “the letter” at work this week, so I checked my mailbox, and sure enough, I had mine. The funding cuts effect all the adult education courses, including ESL and GED.  It wasn’t a complete surprise. I’m also on the listserve for Literacy Chicago–last week I got an email from them with a press release:

Regarding:
Illinois Literacy Programs Lose Funding
House Passes Bill Eliminating State Funds
for Adult Education and Family Literacy

Spread the word! There is a rally at the Thompson Center, 171 W. Randolph, on Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 11:30am against the “doomsday” budget cuts that were approved by the Illinois General Assembly on May 31st,. The Governor has called the Democratic and Republican leadership into a meeting at noon on Thursday. Please join us for this multi-organization emergency action, organized by Action Now.

And then their newsletter:

Illinois Literacy Programs Lose Funding
Recently, the House passed an Appropriations Bill that eliminates state funding for Adult Education and Family Literacy. This would require that the Illinois Community College Board turn back all federal funds, which would result in the closing of all adult education programs throughout Illinois. The impact of this reduction would be devastating to the 118,000 students currently being served, as well as all of those who plan to seek out adult education services in the coming fiscal year.

We thank each of you who took the time to contact your elected officials this past week. The situation is ongoing, however, and we encourage you to continue to be in touch with your legislators on our behalf.

Contact directories:
http://www.cookctyclerk.com/sub/elected_officials.asp
http://www.illinois.gov/government/state.cfm
http://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactthegovernor.cfm

If you have any questions, please call Jessica Keller at 312-870-1100 x103 or email jkeller@literacychicago.org. Thank you as always for your support!

So what is my AFSCME union local doing about this?  Oddly enough, I had a letter from them today too. They are busy rerunning the local’s election because too many people returned ballots without signing the outside of the envelopes.

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One Response to “Illinois guts ESL funding”

  1. Ruth Richert Says:

    I volunteer as a tutor in ESL programs. I am a retired teacher and have appropriate certification to be a teacher. I work with students in the Spoon River College program. We serve students from many countries. Our program helps them become more active in the community. A number of our students become employed in the community, continue on in higher education, and/or become citizens of the USA. Our program is valuable to them whether they choose one of the programs mentioned above or return to their country of origin. These programs are a very worthwhile service at the community or junior college level.


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