Adult Students Rally to Save BPS Adult Education Program

A thousand students would lose adult education classes under current BPS budget proposal

March 12, 2014 BOSTON — Adding to a petition signed by nearly 300 classmates and appearances at previous budget hearings, a group of adult students willMaria_Harris_edited rally tonight at 4:30 outside the Boston Public Schools building to ask the School Committee to reject cutting almost all funding from the Department of Adult Education and Community Services. The budget proposal under consideration would eliminate 85 percent of the program's funding, cutting $1.1 million dollars
from a program that cumulatively serves nearly 1,000 students at its four sites. In the daytime, the program offers classes in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and in the evening also offers the city's only credentialed adult high school program, located at the Madison Park High School complex.

Maria Harris (center), Director of Adult Education, informing evening students of potential school cuts, O'Bryant High, February 25

The cuts would leave the Adult Education program sustained only by outside grant funding, effectively ending the Boston Public Schools continuous commitment to adult education for 145 years. It would also undercut the abilities of many immigrant  parents and others to help their children succeed in the ESLClass_at_SchoolBoard_editedBoston Public Schools, which has seen a huge growth in students who speak a language other than English at home.

"The elimination of this program would be harmful not only to the students, but to the infrastructure of ABE and ESOL classes in the city," said Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. "With hundreds of students already waiting for over a year for available seats, immigrants and other adult students would find it much harder to better their lives by taking an English or basic skills class.


Students from Adult Education Evening Program ESOL 4 class at  Boston School Committee Meeting, Hyde Park Education Complex, March 4

WHAT: Rally by students to save BPS' Department of Adult Education and Community Services

WHEN: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WHERE: BPS Central Offices,
26 Court Street,
Boston, MA

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