Many thanks to Joey Peters for his fine article on this important issue for our community. One correction: The "income of $95,000 from [Adult Basic Education] listed in GuideStar in 2010" was also used to pay a portion of the salaries of the professional staff who serve literacy and [English as a Second Language] students who are co-enrolled in ABE and [Literary Volunteers of Santa Fe]. Professional staff work with students on their different learning needs, challenges and goals. They must pre-test and periodically re-assess students to determine the most appropriate strategies and instructional materials to promote learning gains. Professional staff also support our caring, committed volunteers so that they can provide high quality instruction to students as they progress in their studies.
Meredith Machen

For the Record
The article contains some misleading information that I would like to correct for the record.
To begin, State Librarian Devon Skeele did respond to the letter she received from ABE literacy directors and we did, too. We were not dismissive, as it would seem. And the letter was dated Oct. 17, 2012. Why is it news now?
The article states that ABE literacy programs do not receive state monies, but they receive both state and federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds.  They were also double-dipping in terms of student numbers. For example, the director of the Santa Fe program said that it did not double count students with ABE, but the program's founder [Meredith Machen] later posted in the comments section of [] that the student count was duplicated.  Our state contract allows for a clean reporting system and closes a loophole which maximizes its investment in adult literacy.
WIA funding is for both ABE and adult literacy. If the ABE literacy programs are not supported at a satisfactory level, it is because the ABE programs take the lion's share. Perhaps these programs should advocate their community colleges, colleges and universities for more support. Shorting adult literacy programs could be a violation of federal law.
We would like to see how ABE programs can better support adults who need GEDs and how we can better support adults who need basic literacy skills. There's no reason to work against each other. We have maintained this position since our founding, though some members of the ABE community have worked against us due to philosophical differences and the perception of competition. Personal attacks against a 25-year quality program like ours only take resources away from students.
Though we have worked hard to defend ourselves, we prefer to look forward to the future and how we can be proactive at identifying adult literacy solutions. Let's think about the students.
Heather Heunermund Executive Director
NM Coalition for Literacy

Real Censorship
I thought your cover story [April 10: "The Censorship Issue"] was going to be about the real censorship in America: the day-in, day-out censorship that has us living in a corporate dictatorship and pretending we're still a democracy. That ended in 2000 when a Supreme Court judge threw out the elections in Florida and our Constitution (as well as ended the rule of law in America) and appointed the George [W Bush] and Dick [Cheney] show for the next eight years.
Soon after they were appointed, they planned and carried out the 9/11 holocaust and then (fixed the facts) to give us the Iraqi and Afghanistan holocausts, all for profit (and extremely profiteering engagements of war).
And back on the home front, the workers' comp law was written by the insurance industry and bribed into law by the law industry and the corporations to serve the insurance industry and not the workers. Fifteen years ago, and everyone is so silent!
The same situation is in effect in the corrupted medical field, where Hippocratic oaths are forgotten or sold, and as money is no longer passed under the table, but extreme salaries and bonuses are the rule of the day.
"The sin of silence when we should protest makes cowards of us all." -Ella Wheeler Wilcox from the movie JFK
Robert Francis "Mudman" Johnson
Santa Fe

In last week's cover story, SFR incorrectly reported that Elisa Walker-Moran works at UNM's Bureau of Business and Economic Research; instead, she works at the Legislative Finance Committee. SFR regrets the error.

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