|Funding and Resources
For publicly funded programs, there are always funding issues. Programs provided by school boards have been particularly vulnerable to funding cutbacks in recent years (especially in Ontario). One problem is that adult education has a smaller and more fragmented constituency (with a much smaller presence in school councils) - and the programs are optional, not mandated. Enrollments can fluctuate substantially according to the state of the economy and the interests, motivations, and situations of the students. The result is that adult education tends to have a lower funding priority - even in cases where excellent work is being done.(33)
In recent years, programs in community colleges have been constrained but not substantially reduced by funding limitations: they are affected by general funding limitations, but have not been targeted for reductions over and above these.
Finding funding is always a problem for community-based programs. Funding may well be available for particular projects, but it is difficult to ensure continuity and consistency over the longer term.
For privately funded programs (e.g., workplace training), the level of funding depends on the degree of commitment which the organization has, as well as on the willingness of employees to invest their own time and money in numeracy training.
While math has a reputation for being rational and logical, it is also very much affected by emotion: when people feel confident and resourceful, they can do their best; when they feel anxious and inadequate, they find it difficult to handle the math. For many, "math anxiety" inhibits their learning.
33 An example would be metropolitan Toronto: an innovative numeracy program was going strong in the late 1980's, but has since been hit by a continuing series of funding cutbacks.
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