On Tuesday the Senate subcommittee delayed a vote on the proposal in the hopes that all sides of the debate can agree on a compromise.
We obtained an amazing video documenting the current state of adult ed in California, made by Marty Lish. We had just learned of Marty and his activism when word came that Sweetwater Union High School District voted to make more cuts to their adult ed program.
from Marty Lish:
Montgomery Adult School will be closed next school year when our SUHSD will use $4.3 Million of the $12.4 that is received for Adult Education on other "district priorities." We appealed to the board of Education not to make these cuts, but they voted 3 to 5 [with one abstention interpreted as a yes vote] to support the Superintendent's recommendations. We will lose an adult school; about 100 temporary and part-time teachers will lose their jobs; and about 7500 students will lose classes. Also, SUHSD will begin charging over 100% more for the registration fees, and all of the parenting and senior activity classes will be on charged the cost of providing them. All of this, to save less than 1% of our district's budget.
The plan according to sources [because very little is presented publicly by SUHSD] is to
tear down all of the buildings to build a charter elementary school. SUHSD just invested $1.1 million in bond money to make infrastructure improvements in 2007. I think that this is not the best use of our districts' funds, but those that agree with me are a minority on our local school board. 3 of the 5 SUHSD Board Members have been indicted on charges of corruption, but they won't go to court until February of next year. I believe that there is a good chance we will be looking for new board members that will better represent the minority population we serve, but it will probably be too late to save our adult school.
THERE IS SOME HOPE!! We are hoping that Dr. Brand and the SUHSD board will reconsider this decision to close our adult school if we can secure additional funding from the state. However, we may be considered optimistic. We hope to appeal to the SUHSD board one more time to promise to keep us open if we get additional funding. However, UNLESS WE DESIGNATE ALL FUNDING FOR ADULT EDUCATION, THE DISTRICTS LIKE OURS WILL JUST TAKE MORE OF THE UNDESIGNATED FUNDING LEAVING US WITH LESS THAN WE STARTED WITH THIS YEAR.
We really need to get all of our adult school funding designated or at least 1/2 of our efforts to rebuild adult education will never be accomplished. I think that you can see how any and all undesignated funding will be absorbed by the school and/or community college districts. We are not the most popular program. We teach the adults that dropped out and can't go to college for one reason or another. The residency requirement at our local community college is 2 years minimum. Many of our students haven't been in the country that long, and they are a transient population at best. The local school boards are not afraid of losing their votes, they have shown us as much by ignoring our appeals. The board members want to do what's popular and building charter schools for children is more popular than educating adults in their experience. THUS, Adult schools will be lost to the tyranny of majority opinion if Governor Brown's plan to give more control to local school boards becomes law. THAT IS MY MAJOR CONCERN WITH THE CURRENT DIRECTION OF GOVERNOR BROWN'S EDUCATION BUDGET PLAN.
WE GET THESE ADULTS EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND JOBS.
We will lose 1 of our 4 adult schools, but Vista Unified will eliminate all adult education for next year, and lay-off 80 permanent teachers. We will see more adult school closures as a result of the 'shift' of funding and responsibility for adult education proposed by Governor Brown.
Three of the five SUHSD board member are facing 200-400 counts of fraud, corruption and lying to authorities. They will need $3 million for their criminal defense, which the district is legally obligated to pay. One of the current board members has already been re-elected while being indicted.
SUPPORT OUR ADULT ED COMMUNITY:
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel