This petition is to support efforts to reverse the decision made by the Massachusetts Department of Education (DESE) to deny funding to La Alianza Hispana.
After 41 years of dedicated service to the community La Alianza Hispana is now on the brink of closing its education and workforce development doors due to DESE’s unfounded decision. The result not only impacts students and staff, but it means cutting off a critical lifeline for constituents in the many neighborhoods served.
The organization is appealing the decision, contending that the review process was severely flawed and unjust. Decisions made without evaluating and preparing for resulting impacts shows lack of judgment and humane treatment. The readers’ comments and scoring (that were the basis of the decision), presented judgments that were inaccurate, ignored RFP directives, were interpretations not based on standards, and suggested a careless reading and analysis of the services the organization currently, and plans to provide Major concerns therefore have been raised as to the fairness and legality of the review process.
DESE will offer assurances of a commitment to adult learners. No consideration was made as to the relationships and trust that have been built over time and how critical these are to the learning process. No preparations were made by the Department of Education as to the impacts of this decision. The notifications were issued one week prior to the new fiscal year, when summer programs were starting - even though decisions were supposed to be made in May (the proposals were submitted in February). DESE has indicated that organizations that have lost funding will merely transfer students to other programs. “The Department’s longstanding policy is that enrolled students whose education is disrupted for reasons beyond their control receive absolute priority for enrollment in another ABE program, i.e., they go right to the top of the waiting list.” No research was conducted or provisions made as to how organizations in the Roxbury area could adequately serve these students, let alone absorb them all. By moving currently enrolled students to the top of other waiting lists means those who have already been waiting are once again placed on hold.
The plan serves a bureaucratic and simple remedy to a problem that continues to persist and that requires solutions other than closing programs and adding to the overwhelming numbers of adult learners needing English language services. This shuffling of these students around like pieces in a game board does not show either commitment or sensitivity.