Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A letter in support of Older Adult Programs - provided by George Porter of Berkeley Adult School

TO: Senator Carol Liu - Chair, Education Committee 
FROM: Your Name Here
RE: May revise + SB173 - Rescinding funding from Adult Ed.'s Older Adults programs - NO!


We who are sending you this letter firmly believe that the proposal, as contained in the Governor's May-revise, that beginning in 2015-16 the Older Adults programs will no longer be allowed to claim support from the Adult Education apportionment is a policy change harmful to the interests of the State.

Clearly the ongoing health, independence, socioeconomic contributions and civic engagement of the older population will have a increasingly critical part to play in California's economic and civic weal. Clearly, too, the educational opportunities provided through the Older Adults programs have for six decades both helped to reduce stresses on our health and public welfare systems and encouraged positive participation to all our benefit. The view that older Californians are simply a burden to be compensated for is narrow minded and not only misses the opportunity to develop what may prove to be one of our greatest assets, but runs contrary to both the spirit and, arguably, the letter of the Older American's Act. We shouldn't be eliminating these programs, but looking for ways to wisely grow them.

The issue at hand is now and will continue to be the effective distribution of limited funds. The funding formula for the Older Adults programs presented here takes into account California's current fiscal and demographic circumstances as well as the pressing need for workforce development. It will not result in the sudden growth of these now small programs but instead will preserve the existing infrastructure and courses and allow for moderate expansion as the demand for the curricular offerings increases with the size of the demographic served. It's intention is to keep these offerings affordable for middle-class, older citizens who are living on a fixed income as well as to provide additional support to those who are living below the poverty line and the disabled. This formula should not be set in stone by the legislature, but should be reconsidered at regular intervals and adjusted to better serve the evolving needs of the State. This formula will suffice for the time being.


Local Adult Schools are limited to claiming from the Adult Education apportionment 50% of the costs to provide courses contained in the Older Adults programs. A student fee may be raised to cover the additional cost. These fees may be off-set by community contribution and/or support from the overseeing School District's general fund with approval of it's governing board. All cost savings resulting from providing offsite classroom space (at Senior and Community Centers, etc.) will be considered as contribution and may be used to offset student fees. The Adult Schools may also claim additional funds from the Adult Education apportionment to provide fee reductions for seniors living below the poverty line and disabled students. In no case may an Adult School claim more than its net cost of providing the aggregate of courses within this program with the exception of maintaining a specifically designated reserve not to exceed 20% of the program's estimated annual budget. 

Your Name
Street Address
City, CA  Zip Code


Send to:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator Carol Liu
State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento,  CA  95814
Senator Loni Hancock
State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento,  CA  95814

Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of Public Instruction  
California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Capitol, Room 5080
Sacramento, CA 95814

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada
Capitol Office:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0004
Tel: (916) 319-2004
Fax: (916) 319-2104
District Office:
725 Main Street Suite 206
Woodland, CA 95695
Tel: (800) 965-6765
Fax: (530) 662-6370

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