Friday, April 15, 2011

Alternative Learning Program Budget Cuts

Here's a letter I wrote to our legislators regarding proposed budget cuts to ALE programs in Washington State.  If you are part of one of these programs, please write to your legislators!  
Use the link below to get there. It's easy to do! 

It has come to my attention that drastic budget cuts are on the table for Alternative Learning Experience programs.  I urge you to speak on my behalf, and that of the hundreds of families in our city who use the local ALE as a vital resource and alternative for our children.  This approach to education funds is misguided.  By cutting these programs, the state is marginalizing students who are already on the fringes.  However, by allowing them to participate in these programs, the state is ensuring that no student is left behind.  Often times, ALE programs serve students for whom conventional schooling is not a productive or even feasible fit.  For these students, the one on one instruction that homeschooling provides is often exactly what they need.  For many families who homeschool, becoming a part of an ALE then becomes a crucial connection to the resources of the school district for their students who otherwise may not have a chance to use them.  Thus, the students are able to receive a hybrid education of that is tailor made to their needs, thus offering the priceless opportunity to succeed.

The local ALE is not even a liability on our school district.  I am sure many other schools could follow the lead of our school, and progressive changes could be made to the ALE programs, modeling after our school's successes.  We invite legislators to come and visit our school.  You will find a community of learning that should not be compromised.  Do not make cuts to these programs.  They are vibrant, innovative and on the cutting edge of education, and our schools have much to learn from them.  Please also note that in cutting funding to these schools, the school districts will be losing the revenue the students bring, as many of them will leave to other programs, namely private schools.  This would be an unwise choice in these tight financial times.

If you have extra time, please read my blog post on exactly why our local ALE is an important resource to my family.

In addition, you might be interested in this blog post, where I tell of a Fundraiser for Japan Relief that students at our school are doing as part of an assignment for a class there.

Thank you for your concern and hard work for the people of our community,

Angie Donnelson

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