Endorsement Resolution for WCCUSD Adult School

Supporters of the adult school programs for WCCUSD have asked ECDC to vote on an endorsement resolution for the program. We will vote on an organizational endorsement, in addition to our previously noticed issues, at the April 25 meeting.

El Cerrito Democratic Club RESOLUTION:

In Support of Serra Adult Center
El Cerrito Democratic Club members Co-Sponsoring:

WHEREAS, West Contra Costa Adult Education provides free or low cost Vocational Training, High School Diploma, GED and English as a Second Language classes, all of which help West County residents prepare to enter new jobs or qualify for better jobs, and

WHEREAS, the education and training provided by West Contra Costa Adult Education is vital to the economic health of the West County area, and

WHEREAS, the centrally located Serra Adult Center facility is a particularly important resource for West County residents because it is accessible to those most in need of adult education services, such as residents with less than a high school education, low income residents, and immigrants, and

WHEREAS, in the City of Richmond, 23.1% of the population has not earned a high school diploma, with 12.9% of the population having less than a 9th grade education, while, according to the most recent census, only 30.4 % of City of San Pablo residents have earned a high school diploma, and

WHEREAS, the median household incomes in the Cities of Richmond and San Pablo, at $54,857 and $43,872 respectively, are well below the California state median income of $64,500, and

WHEREAS, the poverty rates for the City of Richmond and City of San Pablo are 16.2% and 18.3%, respectively, and,

WHEREAS, according to the last census, the population of the City of Richmond is 32.4% foreign born, with 49.9% of Richmond residents speaking a language other than English at home, while 45.1% of the population of the City of San Pablo is foreign born, and

WHEREAS, parents are their children’s first teachers, and children succeed in school when their parents are involved in their leaning, understand the school system, and are able to advocate for their children with the school, and

WHEREAS, the West Contra Costa Unified School District, along with many West Contra Costa Cities, is committed to the Full Service Community Schools model, which includes adult education for parents and community members to increase community involvement in the schools, and

WHEREAS, immigrant parents often need to acquire English language skills and life skills in order to help their children with school work, understand the U.S. school system and become effective advocates for their children, and

WHEREAS, the Serra Adult Center site offers Family Literacy classes which help parents support their children’s education while they increase their own literacy, and

WHEREAS, many West County cities, including the cities of Richmond, San Pablo and El Cerrito are sanctuary cities which are committed to protecting the rights of the immigrant population of West County, and

WHEREAS, Serra Adult Center provides a centrally located site where immigrant students can learn about their legal rights and obtain information that can protect them, and

WHEREAS, a recent survey of English as a Second Language students at Serra Adult Center found that 54% of the students feel “very afraid” because of the current anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S., and 79% reported that they feel safer and less worried in their ESL classes, and

WHEREAS, West Contra Costa Unified School District plans to move adult education classes out of the Serra Adult Center in order to establish an elementary school at the site, and

WHEREAS, the elementary school was originally proposed for another site, and there are other sites where the elementary school could be established, and

WHEREAS, the proposed new site for the adult education classes at Serra Adult Center is Alvarado Adult School, which is at the furthest southern edge of the school district, and

WHEREAS, a recent demographic map indicates that ESL students at the Serra Adult Center live in the Central Richmond, San Pablo or points north, and

WHEREAS, a recent survey of ESL students at Serra Adult Center indicated that only 8% would be able to attend classes at Alvarado Adult School, and the number that could attend other proposed sites was under 30%,

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the El Cerrito Democratic Club,

1. Recognizes that Serra Adult School site is an important resource for the residents of West County,
2. Declares support for keeping adult school classes at the Serra Adult School site,
3.Requests that West Contra Costa Unified School District maintain Serra Adult School as an adult school site and establish the new elementary school in another location.