30 May Hope Adult Education Perseveres Despite City Cuts
The COVID-19 crisis is hitting city budgets hard all over the country. The reduced revenues and tax receipts, combined with increased need for medical and social services, is a severe challenge. One of the casualties of Mayor Kenney’s austerity budget was the Office of Adult Education, which will cease operations at the end of this month.
Although Hope’s Adult Ed program is not part of – or funded by – the Mayor’s OAE, we still enjoyed a strong partnership with the office which included: referrals of learners through the city’s myPlace system; participation in professional development and networking opportunities; and learning resources. It’s disappointing to see a budget that completely eliminates these services, even while acknowledging the financial reality.
Because Hope Partnership takes learners at all levels – while other adult education programs essentially focus on GED prep – this meant that we served as a valuable resource to other myPlace partners who were looking for a program in which to place learners at the start of their literacy journey. While the majority of our Adult Ed students are from the neighborhood, many of our learners travel long distances to get our program, because we are the only program offering the instruction they need. Even though myPlace referrals were only a handful of students each session, it’s unfortunate for that connection to be lost.
Even with this setback to the city, Hope Partnership’s Adult Education program is dedicated to serving our learners, and will continue to do so through this most recent challenge. We will miss the Office of Adult Education and the relationships we had there, especially their dedicated team. In the words of their goodbye notice, “we know adult education is needed more than ever.”