Save Londer Learning Center
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Dear Sheila and Portland Parent Union,
Londer Learning Center needs your help!
We're writing to let you know about another example of institutionalized racial inequity in our community. The Multnomah Dept. of Community Justice has proposed to entirely eliminate its education and job training program, known as Londer Learning Center, which serves formerly incarcerated adults.
For more than 20 years, the center has served thousands of adults--mostly people of color-- offering GED courses and job preparation. As you know,
Oregon has the 3rd worst high school graduation rate in the nation, so LLC has provided an essential service to adults who never graduated and later got caught up in the criminal justice system.
Sadly, this won't be the first time that this system has decided that justice-involved adults don't need education. More than 7 years ago, the Multnomah County Sheriffs Department completely eliminated its GED programs in our jails. To this day, there is no GED program in Inverness Jail. Inverness jail holds adults convicted of felonies, instead of sending them to prison, so inmates sit for up to a year without any access to education. Our state prisons also do not provide adequate education for this population. There are long wait lists to get into classes.
When you stop to think about the low graduation rate of people of color in our schools, the over-representation of people of color in the justice system...and then look at how under-represented African Americans are in living wage jobs in Portland, and the rising poverty of our community... you can really see how education and job training provided by Londer Learning Center is so vitally important.
It's true there are a few other GED programs in Portland. Unfortunately, most of these programs only accept young adults, and many do not accept students who have low academic skills. Community college classes are costly, have attendance requirements and are unrealistic for adults needing to attend treatment programs or who are homeless. Londer Learning Center has always had open doors, and has served as an on-ramp to community college and job training. Professional instructors are skilled in teaching adults with learning challenges and addiction/recovery issues.
We think all adults in Portland are deserving of equal educational opportunities, and that our community will thrive when people have access to education. We also think the jail needs to reinstate its education program, as well, and that parole and probation officers should be mandated to ensure that every adult on their caseload is enrolled in an education program.
Please ask the Multnomah County Board to reinstate funding for Londer Learning Center. Before April 15, please write, email, or call the Chair and your Multnomah County commissioner. Mail: 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97214. (numbers below)
For further information, please email us at email@example.com. Thank you for your support.
The Save Londer Committee
Educate don't incarcerate
Deborah Kafoury, County Chair
Phone: 503-988-3308, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Meieran, District 1
Phone: 503-988-5220, e-mail: email@example.com
Loretta Smith, District 2
Phone: 503-988-5219, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3
Phone: 503- 988-5217, e-mail: email@example.com
Lori Stegmann, District 4
Phone: 503-988-5213, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today: Londer Learning Center is counting on you
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