Opinion: Ceasing adult education halts progress for vulnerable populations

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Opinion: Ceasing adult education halts progress for vulnerable populations
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To the editor:

Students and teachers at the Alexandria Adult Education Center were shocked to recently hear the school will be closed at the end of December. As a volunteer English as-a-second-language teacher at the school, I am writing to ask Alexandrians to protest this reckless decision in every possible way, including at the school board meeting scheduled for December 15.

The school provides not only seven levels of ESL classes but also general equivalency diploma classes. Thus the proposed closing tells two of our most vulnerable populations — African-Americans and new immigrants — the school system is prepared to throw their aspirations to the winds. Is this worthy of our great city? I think not.

These are students with pressing demands on their time and attention. Many work at least two jobs, often with difficult and varying schedules. Most have childcare concerns. To ask them to spend extra time (many travel by bus) and money to attend classes in another city is to end their studies in many cases. Please help prevent this disaster.

– Elisabeth Vodola
Alexandria

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