Those who advocate for adult education programs in New Hampshire are opposing the bill that they believe will hurt immigrants and refugees working toward citizenship. On Tuesday the Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Andy Sanborn, of Bedford, who said the roughly $4 million the state spends on adult workforce training programs should be reserved for people who can legally work in the United States.
Sanborn stated, “"If our program is about teaching people how to do a job, shouldn't those people who are taking those classes have the ability to work in America? Should they be legally able to work in our state?"
He says that the restriction would only apply to workforce training and not all adult education programs, but the directors of multiple adult education centers said that the two can not be separated since workforce training is included in other programs. If this bill was passed then Deanna Strand, director of the Dover Adult Learning center says that they will not be able to only apply it to workforce training which would create an overall decrease in programming.
Others are saying that this bill would discriminate against refugees who are not illegal permanent residents are working toward their citizenship status. Mary Ngwanda Georges, who also opposes the bill said, “Without an education, nobody can do anything. They need a way to education.” (Source: The News & Observer)
What does this mean for professional development?
If this bill is passed then it would take away opportunities for non-US residents to undergo workforce training in New Hampshire. There are many that disagree with the restrictions that this bill would create in terms of training funding, causing speculation to whether or not it will pass.