We know that many of you face a looming deadline for the ACLS RFP, but it is vital that state policymakers begin to hear from members of the adult education community as soon as possible. So, if you can take a five minute break from your proposal, please read on. Or, once you've finished your submission, celebrate by contacting your legislators to convey the message below.
Earlier this year, thanks to your advocacy efforts, the Massachusetts' legislature overrode Governor Baker's budget veto and set funding for adult basic education at $29.63 million for the current fiscal year, an increase of 2.8 percent over the prior year. Unfortunately, such progress is not nearly enough to overcome the long-term erosion in public resources for adult basic education. Even with the gains achieved this year, state appropriations for programs that offer ABE and ESOL services have dropped by roughly 30 percent since FY 2001, once inflation is taken into account.
FY 2019 Budget Request = $34.5 million
To begin to reverse this long-term decline and to ensure that ABE programs have the resources they need to serve their communities and to improve working conditions for dedicated teachers, counselors, and administrators,
MCAE is urging state policymakers to appropriate $34.5 million for adult basic education for fiscal year 2019.
In support of this request, MCAE has already begun meeting with senior members of the legislature to explain the need for, and the value of, greater investment in adult basic education. We plan to meet with legislative leadership and as many members of the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for crafting the budget, as possible before that committee begins holding public hearings in March.
Outreach to Legislators Needed Now
To succeed, we need your help. Now is the time when rank-and-file Representatives and Senators begin to determine their priorities for the coming budget debates and to share their "wish lists" with budget writers.
Our task is simple:
we need to ensure that increased funding for adult basic education is on each and every legislator's wish list for FY19. That's where you come in.
As soon as possible, please take 5 minutes and follow the steps below to help MCAE promote substantial new investments in adult basic education.
- Click here to find your legislators and their phone numbers.
- Call your state representative and state senator and ask them to please support $34.5 million for adult basic education (Line Item 7035-0002) in FY19.
- Remind them that an investment in ABE is an investment in Massachusetts, in its people, and in its future economic success.
- Share with them the impact that additional resources would have in your program, in your classroom, and in the lives of their constituents.
- Remember: you may only be able to reach your representative's or senator's staff, but you should still make your request to them.