Wednesday, July 12, 2017 [Archived]

The Alliance for California Adult Schools believes in lifelong learning that is accessible to everyone.  K-12-based adult schools offer every adult community member the chance to better his or her life at a cost he or she can easily afford -- in a classroom conveniently located near where they live or work.

This website is dedicated to all who believe that everyone deserves not only a chance, but also a second chance.

Adult Education on Social Media:

Adult Ed Activity on Social Media- List of Schools, etc.

Sources for Information about Adult Ed and

1.  Advocacy
2.  Cuts and closures
3.  Policy - past, present, future
4. Student Success Stories
5.  Value of Adult Education
6.  Ed Reform in Adult Ed
7.  Adult Ed - National and Federal
8.  Community College
9.  K12 Adult Schools and Community Colleges

1. Advocacy

2.  Cuts and Closures

* "Adult Education Dismantled" - June 2011 article about Oakland Adult School
"Adult Education Dismantled" - East Bay Express, June 2011.  Good description of what happened in Oakland.
* "All Out for Berkeley Adult School "- Adult Education Matters blog, January 2015

3.  Policy - past, present, future

History of Adult Education in California - Powerpoint by Kristen Pursley
"Adult Schools Need Dedicated Funding" - Edsource Commentary by Karen Arthur and Kristen Pursley
* "Legislative Support Elusive for Adult Ed Funding Plan" Dec 2012 Edsource article with quote s from LAO Adult Ed Report Author Paul Steenhausen about the need for categorical funding for K12 Adult Schools.
* "What's In A Name" - Save Your Adult School Post looks at past 6 years to understand why Adult Schools continue to face so many challenges

Adult education at a crossroads

California Budget Bites - Education Topic

Why Adult Schools Need Dedicated Funding

Migration Policy Institute Report - Adult Ed Section pp 65 - 74

*  Migration Policy Institute Powerpoint

* Student Success Task Force - Changes in Commuity College System affect Adult Education also - CCs are part of the new Regional Consortia system

Affordable Housing - Policy & Info - Because cost of housing affects where people live, particular people with fewer resources.  Changes in cost of housing can predict where Adult Ed will be needed in the future.

2013 CCAE Powerpoint on Adult Education - by Dr. Patricia Terry

2012 California WatchArticle about Adult Ed Cuts that provides backstory to the cuts

AB 18 - the Brownley bill that aimed to return K12 Adult Ed to Categorical Status was vetoed by Governor Brown.  Google searches will provide information such as this.

AB86 - History

"The Return from Investment in Adult Education and Training" - McGraw Hill Research Foundation

Governor Announces Increased Investment in Adult Ed - OTAN, January 2015

* "Governor's Proposed Budget Called "A Gift" For Adult Education" - Edsource, Jan 2015

*  New bill by Assembly Member Patty Lopez would put Parent Ed and Family Literacy back in line for State Funding.


4.  Student Success Stories

5.  Value of Adult Ed

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning  - Research Project in Europe

6.  Ed Reform and Adult Education


* "California Should Fix its Broken ELL Programs" - Lexington Institute, Aug '13
Pushback against Academics speaking up about Pearson: "Mute the Messenger," The Observer
Ed Reform of Adult Ed in the United Kingdom - article about Alan Tucket, The Guardian, Oct 2014

Mission - Broad or Narrow (Eliminating Parent Ed, Older Adults, etc. from state funding vs supporting and expanding)

*LA Family Literacy - proven to be successful & fighting to survive
Marianne Cooper, PhD "Cut Adrift:  Families in Insecure Times"
Article that includes update on Santa Barbara City College Center for Lifelong Learning - a program that is often used as a model for how to go from state funding to fee-based Older Adults programs.
California Older Adults Education Standards and Assessment Guide (Draft), May 2003 (Demonstrates how the State once approached Adult Ed for Older Adults and makes a clear case for the value of such a program)

Sources Pushing for Reform - and their Funding

* "The National Commission on Adult Literacy calls on Congress and state governments to make postsecondary and workforce readiness the new mission of the adult education and workforce skills system."
Source: National Commission on Adult Literacy Report, June 2008
- Lead funding for the Commission’s work came from the Dollar General Corporation ($1 million)
David Perdue, who retired during the course of the study as Chairman and CEO of the Dollar General Corporation, served as Commission chair.  He is currently running for Governor of Georgia on the Republican ticket and starting a company in India.
Note: Tom Torlakson cites the 2008 report from NCAL as the rationale for narrowing the mission of adult ed in CA.
NCAL=CAAL - CAAL was formed to build on the work of BCEL (Business Council for Effective Literacy) its predecessor organization.

7.  Adult Ed - National and Federal

13 minutes video - overview of Adult Ed & Fam Lit Act
OCTAE - Office of Career, Tech, and Adult Ed - US Dept of Ed
WIA - Workforce Investment Act - info on the Calif Dept of Ed webpage
* WIA - Workforce Investment Act - info on OTAN webpage
CASAS  - test commonly used in Adult Ed

8. Community College

* Community College Academic Senate -
* Kathy Wada's Powerpoint on Data Mart vs Scorecard (part of a presentation on Top Policy Issues for Community College ESL at 2014 CATESOL)
Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) - developing a new assessment system for Community Colleges
"Academic Preparedness of ESL Students - A Factor Success and Program Survival" (part of a presentation on “Rethinking Community College ESL in Times of Transformation”  at CATESOL 2013
*  Taskforce on Jobs on Jobs and Workforce Education - from Community College Chancellor's Office
* California Community Colleges League - 1993 paper which advocates for Community Colleges to be the sole providers of Adult Education (no more K12 Adult School delivery).  

9.  K12 Adult Schools and Community Colleges: 
How They Work and Who Does What

Stats & Facts



No Lawmater Left Behind One-Sheet about Adult Ed


1.  California Department of Education - Adult Education


2.  Cal Ed Facts - stats about Adult Ed 2005-06 thru 2008-09 - these are pre-flexibility (pre-cuts) statistics.


3.  Adult Ed Provider Directory


4.  California Adult Ed Data (much of it is pre-cuts but can be used for comparisons or to get an overview of Adult Ed did or could do)


5.  WIA Federal Programs demographic information


6.  The 2012 LAO - Legislative Analyst Report - on Adult Education, "Restructuring California's Adult Ed System" - pdf, video and html.   "Specifically, we recommend the Legislature restore adult education as a stand-alone categorical program once flexibility sunsets at the end of 2014-15- Page 24 of the LAO Report.


7.  PIAAC - Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies


8..  Projected future growth of Older Population from Administration on Aging

9.  California Adult Ed Research


10.  California Adult Ed History - until 2005


11.  California State Plan for Adult Ed


12.  California Laws and Legislation - Adult Ed

14.  "Keep the Community in Community College" - Change in the Mission of Community Colleges

15.  Migration Policy Institute Report - Adult Ed pp 65 - 74

Adult Education Students Lead and Succeed

Student Leadership in Action:

* ESL Student & Advocate Gilberta Gonzalez
* GED Student:  Jessica Franco
Adult Ed Week 2015 at San Mateo Adult School - scroll to the bottom of the page for links to many essays written by students
* "High Quality Education within the Adult School System" - essay by Poling Tang, San Mateo Adult School Student

* Save Adult Ed - A Record of Succesful Campaign to Save Adult Ed in Los Angeles

VALUE USA - National Adult Learner Alumni Group

Student Success Stories:

OTAN - Outreach and Technical Assitance Network for Adult Educators - "Students Succeed" - Many Adult Learner Success Stories

SMACE Success - Stories of Success at San Mateo Adult School

Sequoia Scholars - Sequoia Adult School SASS Winners

To see videos of Adult Ed Student Success, 
go to the Adult Ed Matters Youtube Channel
and click on the

The Red for Adult Ed Campaign

Every Tuesday, all over California, people are wearing Red for Adult Ed.

We are spreading the message:

Adult Education matters!   K12 Adult Schools need secure funding!

Help get the word out by wearing Red for Adult Ed on Tuesdays.

If you are interested in buying red t-shirts or buttons or making your own, contact

The No Lawmaker Left Behind Campaign

The idea is simple:  Visit every legislator in every district of California and deliver the message that Adult Education matters. 

Every Legislator has two offices - a home district office and an office in the Capitol in Sacramento.  You can visit them in their district office.  

UPDATE January 2015

Governor Brown's Budget Proposal for 2015-16 is a victory in many ways.  This Save Your Adult School post, "The Governor's Budget Plan for Adult Ed 2015-16:  Joys, Tears, and the Unknown" provides an excellent analysis of it.

This Adult Education Matters post, "First Step in the Dance:  Brown's Budget Proposal," outlines what happens next.

In a nutshell, after studying the proposal and deciding what we like, don't like, and don't understand about it, we go to our Legislators.

They will not be seeking us out.  We need to seek them out.  That's how the system works.  We elect them to represent us.   Thousands of us.  And when we want them to do something on our behalf, we need to go to them and explain what and why.

Some legislators are newly elected and may not know much about Adult Education, K12 Adult Schools, the Regional Consortia system, how Flex devastated Adult Education and Adult Schools, and how the Mission of Adult Education was narrowed through budgetary policy.

It is important that we connect with every legislator to make sure they understand 

*  the importance of K12 Adult Schools and Adult Education
* the importance of a funding structure that is strong, fair, equitable, and includes sticks and carrots to promote good behaivor.

*  state funding for Parent Education, Older Adults, Financial Literacy and Home Economics will end in 2015.   
(The transition year funding outlined in the Governor's Budget Proposal could possibly fund these programs.  It's unclear.)

What you focus on in your talk with your legislator is up to you.  Your experience, needs, and wisdom matter.  Share what you know and what you want with the legislator or their aide.  Find out what they know and need to know in order to make good decisions.  If possible, provide them with helpful information.  Some will already be supportive but need information to convince their colleagues.   Some may not be supportive and need evidence in order understand the value of Adult Education and necessity to support it financially.

Here's some how-to to help you:

Click here to see a map of Adult Schools and the legislators who represent them.  (Map is in process - schools being added daily.)

Click here to find your legislators.  Look over their websites and read their bios before visiting them.

You can drop in the Legislator's District Office or you can call beforehand and make appointment.  When you call:

     1. Introduce yourself as someone who lives, works, or goes to school in that district.
     2. Speak clearly and not too fast.
     3. Say that you would like to speak with the lawmaker, or somebody in his/her office, about adult education.

You can say something like, "Hi, my name is _________, and I would like to speak with (lawmaker's title & name, e.g. Senator Lee or Assemblymember Lee) about Adult Education."

Before your visit, you can read or print out the NLLB one-sheet   (THIS SHEET NEEDS TO BE AND WILL BE UPDATED)  to bring with you and give to the legislator or their aide or you can bring your own material to share with them. 

You may want to mention the Restore Protected Funding petition or Rebuild Adult Education petition at your visit because every legislator who has been in office received every signature on those petitions as they came in. 

Going in a group - students, alumni, teachers, community members - is powerful and helpful.  Each person can speak about what they know best. 

If you are comfortable doing so, please take a photo at your visit and send it to so we can share it on social media.

After your visit, you can fill out this survey.  We will post infomation about how many legislators were visited, etc.

Democracy only works when we work it.  And this is how it works:

We elect people to represent us.  These people make laws and approve budgets.  To do a good job, they need to know what we want, need, and know.   We can tell them this by calling them on the phone, sending them letters or emails, or in person through a visit.  The last way is the most powerful because we are people and face to face contact is the most powerful way people can communicate.

Each of us has a lot of power.  Together, we are even more powerful.  Together, we can save and strengthen Adult Schools so that they can save and strengthen Californians.

Events of Interest 
to Adult Ed Advocates

2015-16 Fiscal Year Budget Timeline   This Adult Education Matters blogpost has a budget timeline provided by CCAE

January 9 - Friday.  The AB86 Workgroup declares Gov. Brown's Budget Proposal for Adult Ed "a victory for Adult Students across California."  The proposal includes 500 million in an Adult Education Block Grant.  To ensure stability, K-12 Adult Schools will continue to be funded at MOE levels for 1 more year.  After that, a new system of local allocation boards would determine how much money goes to each local school.  Click here to a summary of Gov. Brown's Budget Proposal for 2015-16 for more details.  The Adult Ed info is on page 24.

January 14 - Wednesday - Berkeley School District Board Meeting which will include discussion and possible vote about moving Berkeley Adult School off its campus (and decentralizing it) in order to move in an Elementary School.

January 19 - Monday - Martin Luther King Day.  "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

January 31 - CFT Adult Ed Commission Meeting - Southern California

March 20 - 22 - CFT Convention - Manhattan Beach (Southern California)

March 24 - CCAE Leg Day

April 20 - 21  CFT Lobby Days

April 24 - 26  - Network for Public Education Conference - Chicago, Illinois

April 30 - May 2 - CCAE State Conference - Universal City (Southern California)

Note:  Many of the conventions and conferences have early bird rates and some have scholarships.  Follow the links for more information on how to attend as cheaply as possible.   Crowdfund if need be but make sure someone from your area is going and representing K12 Adult School needs and interests.  Adult Ed is the stepchild's stepchild.  If we're not at the table, not only will we be shut out of connecting and decision-making, we may end up on the menu.  So if you care about K12 Adult Schools, attend or help someone else attend!

Past Events   (When trying to understand "how we got here," it's helpful to be able to look back at a timeline of events.)

Sept 22 - 28 National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.  NCL - the National Coalition for Literacy - is looking to hear from Adult Schools around the country - what they are doing and they are advocating for Adult Ed.  You can send stories about your school or program to and they will post it on their blog.

Sept 27th:  CFT Adult Ed Commission meets at the San Jose Marriot.    Many Adult Ed teachers - on both the Community College and K-12 Adult Side, belong to CFT.    All CFT members can attend the meeting.  Only representatives from each Local can vote.   Unions work democratically and this is how they work:  Locals send representatives to these Commission meetings.  Representatives can bring resolutions to the meetings.  The Commission will vote on them.  If they pass through the Commission, they move up to the Executive Council.  If you belong to CFT, you can find who will represent you at this meeting and if they are going.  You can attend a meeting of your Local beforehand to decide what your AE Commission Rep should bring up at the meeting for discussion.

Oct 6 & 7:  AB86 Adult Ed Regional Planning Summit.  Regional Consortia were each invited to send
  • 2 Regional Consortia Planning Leaders: one representing a member Community College District and one representing a member School District
  • 2 Faculty Members/Teachers: One from a Community College District and one from a School District.

Oct 23 - 26:  2014 Annual CATESOL Conference in Santa Clara.  There will be an Adult Ed Discussion Group at this meeting.  Additionally, Student Leaders from San Mateo Adult School will present a workshop on The Power of Student Leadership at the conference.  All conferences are a chance to meet and network with other Adult Ed and Adult School folks, as well as with folks from outside those communities.  It is important to connect with as many people as possible in this work to save and rebuild Adult Ed in California.  Everyone needs to understand the situation that Adult Schools are in.  And everyone can contribute to turning the situation around.

Oct 24:  AB86 Webinar - Summit Debrief.  Find out what the AB86 Workgroup and others consider the take-aways from the AB86 Summit.

 Spring Forward for Adult Education and Adult Schools
                                                at one or more of these events:

1.  Various Spring dates     CCAE - California Council of Adult Education - Section Conferences 
Check the CCAE website to find out when the section in your area will be holding their conference.

2.  Various Spring dates   CTA - California Teachers Association - Conferences and Events
Check the CTA Calendar for details.

3.  Various Spring dates   UTLA's Movement for the Schools LA Students Deserve.  UTLA is a hybrid union representing LAUSD teachers, including Adult School teachers.  UTLA members can belong to either or both CFT or CTA.  The UTLA Adult Education Committee is specifically focused on Adult Ed.    UTLA and UTLA Adult Ed have a variety of events planned this spring.  Check their calendar for details.

5. March 13 - 14     OTAN Technology and Distance Learning Symposium  in San Leandro, Northern California. 

6.  March 20 - 22    CFT - California Federation of Teachers - Convention in Manhattan Beach, Southern California.  CFT - California Federation of Teachers - represents a variety of teachers (University, Community College, K12, Adult School, Pre-school, Charter, etc.) along with classified staff and school nurses. Several resolutions regarding Adult Education will go to the floor for a vote at the Convention.

7.  March 23 - 27   Adult Education Week

8.  March 24     CCAE Leg Day March 24 

9.  April 20 - 21  CFT Lobby Days

10.  April 25 - April 26  Network for Public Education Conference in Chicago, Illinois. 

11.  April 25  Los Angeles Regional CATESOL Conference

12.  April 30 - May 2   CCAE State Conference  in Universal City, Southern California.  "Mission Possible:  Adult Education, Agent for Change" is the theme of this year's conference. 

13.   May 9   Northern Regional CATESOL  in Stockton, California.

Systems & Organizations

There are many systems and organizations that deal with Adult Ed.  Here are some along with brief descriptions.

AB86 - This is the shorthand for the legislation - Assembly Bill 86 - which set the rules for the new Regional Consortia system. 
The AB86 website is a bit clunky to navigate but if you persevere you can get a lot of info. 
AB86 really did change the game and at minimum, you should read and understand the
information to the right.  Looking at that info, you can see that what will be funded through
the new Regional Consortia system is very different than what was and technically still
is defined as Adult Education by the California Department of Education.  (For more on that,
check the next category - CDE.)   AB86 has two "groups" that manage this big change and
run-up to the new system.  Both groups contain folks from both the CDE and the CCCO side.
The AB86 Cabinet "guides and oversees" the AB86 Workgroup.   The AB86  Workgroup does
the nitty gritty work of managing the funding applications,  providing information to
applicants, running Technical Assistance Webinars, and many  other things. The webinars -
and a whole lot else - is archived and available through the AB86 website, including this nice list of all the Regional Consortia and their members.  Do not assume that every locality in California is part of a Regional Consortium.  Santa Maria, for example, is not.
And for the record, "consortium" is the singular and "consortia" is the plural.  

CDE - California Department of Education.  The CDE is in charge of K12 Adult Schools. 
An elected Superintendent - Tom Torlakson - is the boss of the CDE. 
The Adult Ed page on the CDE website has many links and much info. 
California is divided into regions and each region has a consultant. 
The Adult Ed Office Staff Directory has the names and contact info of each consultant.

CCCO - California Community College Chancellors Office.

CCAE - California Council of Adult Education.  CCAE is the only organization which includes everyone - admin, teachers, students, staff, community.  Membership fees vary accordingly.  CCAE strongly advocated against the push to submerge all Adult Education inside the Community College system and is currently strongly advocating for secure funding for K12 Adult Schools.  The Legislative page of the CCAE website contains a record of this advocacy as well as the latest updates, strategy recommendations and the Call to Action Webinar.  CCAE Legislative Analyst Dawn Koepke attends all hearings pertaining to Adult Education, leads the annual Leg Day, and advocates for K12 Adult Schools.

Teachers Unions  Not all Adult Education teachers are unionized but some are.  There are 2 main teachers unions in California:  CFT - California Federation of Teachers and CTA - California Teachers Association.  CFT is the daughter of AFT - American Federation of teachers.  CTA is the daughter of NEA - National Education Association.  CFT has a range of teachers and staff- Early Childhood Ed, K12, Classified, Community College, K12 Adult School, etc.  CTA also has a wide range of teachers and staff.  Adult Ed Teachers in Los Angeles - the biggest Adult School in the State - belong to UTLA.  UTLA is associated with both CTA and CFT.  UTLA Teachers can beong to one or both of the larger unions.  Both unions operate democratically.  Locals have elected officers and there are elected officers on the state and national levels, as well. 

The president of CFT, Josh Peschault, and the president of CTA, Dean Vogel, sent the Superintendent of CDE, Tom Torlakson, a letter urging him to push for more teacher inclusion in the formation of the new Regional Consortia system. 

CFT - California Federation of Teachers   CFT has teachers who work both at K12 Adult Schools and in non-credit Adult Education programs at community colleges.  CCSF in San Francisco is a good example of the latter.  Both K12 Adult School and Community College Non-Credit teachers are on the Adult Ed Commission, which is the main vehicle for addressing Adult Ed issues in the union.   The AE Commission meets 3 times a year.  The next meeting is in Sept of 2014.   Any CFT Adult Ed member can attend but only AE Commission Reps can vote.  Locals send reps and through the reps, can send resolutions which are voted on by the AE Commission and can then move forward to be voted on by delegates at the state convention.   CFT has pushed for teacher inclusion in the Regional Consortia process and for keeping the mission full - maintaining state funding for the ten programs listed by CDE as Adult Education.   CFT Legislative Analysts have attended hearings on SB 173 and Jeff Freitas, Secretary Treasuer of CFT, spoke at the Oversight Hearing on Adult Education in January, 2014.   The CFT webpage includes a brief on recap on what happened to Adult Ed in California and a link to it was featured on the main webpage.

Note about both CFT/AFT and CTA/NEA:   Many changes are taking place in both CFT and CTA from the ground up.  You can learn more about this from the Network for Public Education or by doing an Internet search for "Chicago Teachers Union" or "Common Core and the Unions" or "Change from the Ground up in Teachers Unions" or anything similar.  At the same time, there are many changes going in the larger world in which teachers unions operate, including strong anti-union sentiment and efforts to break unions of all kinds, the Vergara Decision and the anti-tenure movement, not to mention arguments over Charter Schools, Common Core, and how much to fund (or not to fund) education.  Huge pressures - both inside and outside unions - are catalyzing fast and deep change.

CATESOL - California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.  ESL - English as a Second Language - is a large part of Adult Education.  This organization is focused on how to do that as well as possible.  With the devastation to Adult Ed in California, conferences now generally include information about this situation and how to respond to it.

January 2015

Backstory to January:  "Adult Schools Need Dedicated Funding" - Edsource Commentary by Karen Arthur and Kristen Pursley

January 9 - Friday -  Governor Brown is expected to announce the new budget.    After announcement, legislators and the public will discuss.   Read CCAE's analysis of what to expect and work for here.

January 14 - Wednesday - Berkeley School Board meeting which will include discussion and
possible vote on using the Berkeley Adult School Campus as a new Elementary School, which
would move and decentralize the Berkeley Adult School.  

Legislative Calendar (via CCAE)

January 5, 2015 Legislature Reconvenes for 2015-16 Legislative Session
January 10, 2015 Release of the Governor’s FY 15-16 Budget Plan
(within a couple days or so)
January – May 2015 Budget Subcommittee Hearings & Decision-Making
March 15, 2015 School District Lay Off Notice Deadline
March 24, 2015 CCAE & CAEAA Leg Day at the Capitol
**Budget Advocacy & Focus – Be There, Strength in Numbers!
June 15, 2015 Constitutional Legislative Budget Deadline
July 1, 2015 FY 15-16 Budget Takes Effect

Fall 2014 Push

This is the last leg of the marathon to save and rebuild K12 Adult Schools.

Information and resources to help us reach our goal:

* CCAE Webinar with latest strategy ideas for ensuring K12 Adult Schools have stability
   Thursday, October 23, 2013, 3 pm.  Click here to register.

CCAE advice for a powerful Fall Full Court Push to secure funding for K12 Adult Schools

* Torlakson vs Tuck for CDE Superintendent.  Torlakson has stood up for K12 Adult Schools in the past.  Where does he stand now?  Where does Tuck stand?  FYI:  Tuck is the  son of a retired K12 Adult School teacher - but don't assume he that means he will stabilize or support public Adult Education or K12 Adult Schools.  Find out where Torlakson and Tuck stand.  Contact their campaigns and ask them hard and specific questions.  Torlakson.  Tuck.

Be sure to check the NLLBResources, and Stats & Facts pages for more information to help us return strong K12 Adult Schools to the people of California.