Monday, June 21, 2010

Kids First Decides to Suspend Adult Education For Hoboken Residents During the Greatest Economic Downturn Since the Great Depression

The current unemployment rate in New Jersey is 9.5% and reflects the national average. In Hoboken, the rate is likely significantly higher. We are now in the 32nd month of the Great Recession which began in December of 2007. Every sector of the economy has been impacted from real estate, to equity investments, health benefits, and of course jobs. Such an economy also brings feelings of boredom, depression, anxiety, and stress. One area that has always been of benefit during times like this is adult education. With the Hoboken Adult Education Program (a.k.a. "night school") over 800 residents had the opportunity to develop and enhance their computer skills, their business skills, communication skills, network, develop social interactions, take part in adult physical fitness and nutrition courses, develop job skills for these difficult times and share a laugh or conversation with others from the community.

That is why it is especially troubling that the Kids First majority of the Hoboken Board of Education approved a decision to suspend the Adult Education Program until next year. The idea for privatization of this program will no doubt be floated-- the public should understand that the TOTAL COST of the Adult Education Program was only a few thousand dollars since tuition is already collected. There is little reason to justify why the Adult Education Program could not be continued while modifications were being considered. For the record, the decision to suspend the Hoboken Adult Education Program was made weeks before the Coordinator of Adult Education retired.

In keeping with the current tradition of the Kids First Hoboken Board of Education majority, the suspension of the Adult Education Program was a "live" agenda item and thus not on the public agenda for the June, 2010 meeting. The meeting was also not filmed or broadcasted.

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