New York, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF-Bronx) and Make the Road New York issued a joint statement today calling for the restoration of Adult education funding such as GED prep and English as a Second Language classes in the 2012 Executive Budget.
Senator Gustavo Rivera stated: “Access to adult education including GED courses and English as a Second Language courses has helped make the American Dream possible for million of New Yorkers. As someone who was fortunate enough to learn English as a second language, I am acutely aware of the doors that are opened by speaking English in order to be successful in the United States. We have to continue to provide all New Yorkers with the opportunity to get a high school diploma and the opportunity to learn English. Under current budget proposals, funding for adult education would be cut. We need to have a budget that is about shared sacrifice and shared responsibility, not one that disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable communities, be it seniors, immigrant communities or working and middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet. I call on my fellow legislators to take a stand and support the extension of the personal income tax for wealthy New Yorkers and restoration adult education funding in the 2012 budget.”
Ana Maria Archila, Executive Director of Make the Road, stated: “Right now, immigrant communities in New York City are looking at substantial cuts in federal funding from the Community Services Block Grants as House Republicans call for the zeroing out of this funding stream altogether. At a local level, our communities are facing a $350 million reduction in social services. New Yorkers, and especially immigrant communities, cannot afford further cuts to adult education programs that include GED and English as a Second Language courses. Adult Education programs make up the bread and butter of the service infrastructure inside immigrant communities, and cuts to Adult Education will not only reduce the opportunities for immigrants to learn English or earn a GED, they will also decimate the service infrastructure that provides critical support to the newest New Yorkers. That is why earlier today hundreds of immigrants rallied in Queens in support of Senator Rivera’s call for legislators and Governor Cuomo to restore funding for adult education in the 2012 budget and extend the personal income tax for New York’s wealthiest New Yorkers.”