Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our education is important to us

Immigration is clearly a big issue in Philadelphia. It wasn't too long ago when two undocumented University of Pennsylvania students marched in hopes to take a stronger stance on this issue. But these issues don't speak to just undocumented people, there's a lot more than meets the eyes. A few days ago, students testified at a City Council education-committee hearing on Philadelphia School District budget issues. Why? Because of the lack of bi-lingual counselors.

A Philly.com article stated, "LAST OCTOBER, Eva Serrano was called and asked to head straight to her fourth-grade son's school. She was frantic, but when she arrived, no one could communicate with her because she speaks little English." And this happens everywhere. In our hospitals, schools, law firms, restaurants, etc. Sure there's a budget crisis in the school district, but how are you going to cut 18 ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) jobs? These jobs are so essential not just to place people in those positions, but to support a child's education. Someone earlier today said, "I'm learning more Spanish. It should definitely be mandatory to learn Spanish." Enough said.

Councilwoman Maria Q. Sanchez said at the hearing, "Quiero darle las gracias a las madres presentes por su activismo y su lucha. Además a JUNTOS por el trabajo que realizan en la comunidad. Estoy muy contenta de que alguien más alce la voz para defender los derechos de los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés y sus familias ya que yo siempre lo hago y ya sueno como disco rayado. Los invito a seguir viniendo a las audiencias ya que en los proximos meses se tomaran desciones drasticas y vamos a necesitar luchar mucho". Erika Almiron, Executive Director at Juntos, is doing a tremendous job and plans on doing more for our community.  Are you ready to do your part?
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