This week we stood up and made our presence known with “Wear Red for Adult Ed” on Tuesday. We also got the word from Governor Brown regarding the revisions made to his budget proposal. The adult ed community has responded with mixed reviews. The governor has rescinded his idea of shifting all adult ed to community colleges. “Gov. Jerry Brown is instead proposing that regional consortia, made up of community colleges and school districts, determine adult ed’s future.” (Edsource, 5/14/13). Our efforts have paid off, but we need to keep pushing for dedicated funding. It isn’t scheduled to take effect until 2015, as part of the new plan. We have already sustained deep losses, and without immediate stabilization provided by a dedicated funding stream, we remain at risk.
The governor has provided an incentive (funds available) for districts to keep their adult schools open, but it doesn’t go far enough to prevent closures, as is evident in the case of Azusa Adult School:
Posted on A4CAS FB page by Azusa Aec:
Sadly our school board closed the book and the school will be closed on June 5th, a day after graduation.... there is not much we can say and do to have them change their minds. They only see the $$$$ signs they can keep for K12.... after closing the school the school board voted to give indirect raises to ALL K12 personnel, using ADULT EDUCATION FUNDS to pay for it.... Sweet isn't it? It is time to change the markup of our school board. We need community friendly school board members who are dedicated to educate the entire community not just K-12. One of them just announced her intention to run for Citrus College trustee. With her not running again, another one retiring, and a third running for her seat, there will be three open seats in November's election, we are having already two strong minded and educated individuals who decided to run...we are still looking for a third person who is willing to dedicate her free time to make education accessible for ALL community members. After a win... the goal is to resurrect the Azusa Adult School from the death! That's the goal we aim for in the long and in the sort....
Bob Harper’s comment on the EdSource article sums up the situation:
The incentives to have greater collaboration between the delivery systems – articulated pathways, common assessments, referral procedures, integrated basic skills training – and bringing in additional community partners (the Workforce Investment Boards, community based-organizations, private sector) is welcome. It is exactly what the CDE’s strategic plan for adult education recommended. It is what was proposed by the LAO’s report last December. It is in alignment to the targeted outcomes for 2014-2015 of the Workforce Investment Act and the National Reporting System. It is already pursued in many places in the state, including the Silicon Valley ALLIES Initiative in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. It is hugely significant that the Governor and the DOF have been responsive to all the advocacy and dialogue on the last four months. It is also true that unless dedicated funding assures that K-12 adult schools continue to deliver services the “consortia” planned for 2015-2016 will be greatly diminished in capacity and expertise. Having 30 million to prepare partnerships, like ALLIES, is a great step. Unless K-12 has standalone funding as LCFF moves forward it is likely that the “unintended destructive consequences” will continue unabated and increase in pace. I surely hope it really is unintended. I must also point out that the $634 million “before the recession” is incorrect. In 2008 there was almost $750 million that supported adult learners in adult schools, and another $200 million that supported non-credit adult education programs in community colleges. What was $950 million in 2008 (which was insufficient to the demand then) becomes $500 million in 2015, with the possibility that the expertise, focus, and outcomes of the K-12 systems have eroded away by then. The legislature and the Governor will continue to work on this; I am confident they will understand that having collaboration between the two systems, adequately resourced, will mean that the critical capacity will be in place to provide low skilled adults with literacy, job skills, and immigrant integration.
Some good news for Vista Adult School from their superintendent:
Vista Adult School
Esteemed Community Members--
I am pleased to share that the Governor’s “May Revise” of the proposed budget for the state of California reflects favorable changes related to Adult Education. As you may recall, the original budget proposal in January shifted all funding for Adult Education to the community colleges as of July 1, 2013. The “May Revise” budget now suggests that K-12 School Districts will continue to be funded for Adult Education programs for the next two years with an option to apply for funding through a consortium model beginning in 2015-16. As a result, layoff notices that have been distributed to Vista Adult School teachers will be rescinded. Furthermore, potential layoff notices to the classified staff will not be necessary.
I am grateful that we will be able to continue to offer the essential Adult Education programs and services that this community has valued and appreciated for many years. I am also optimistic that our continued success in meeting the needs of adult learners will put us in a leadership position as we develop the consortium plans for the future.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation for the resilience, flexibility, and empathy of our community as we have gone through the turbulence of the budget process. Our mission statement places a priority on perseverance and I am privileged to serve as a leader in a community where our adults serve as models for our children.
Devin Vodicka, EdD
Superintendent of Schools
Posted by: Devin Vodicka Published:5/15/13
United Adult Students in Los Angeles continue to speak up and fight cuts to their programs.
from their website:
Why are Adult Schools slashing their Fall 2013 course offerings? Here are just a few examples:
- Evans CAS is cutting its whole Saturday program; its Certified Medical Assistant program is completely cut and 26 teachers have lost all or part of their hours.
- Harbor Occupational is cutting its entire evening program.
- West Valley OC is cutting 1 out of every 4 teachers;
- East L.A. Occupational has been told they're cutting 30%; many CTE teachers, if they aren't being laid off, are having their hours reduced.
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Elected officials come and go. We’re part of an educational system that, given the current economic climate, as well as demographic changes, can no longer afford to be marginalized or seen as anything but a vital part of California’s public education system. The collective mentality, in regards to adult ed in California, is evolving to meet 21st Century demands. Legislators need to be educated on how best to create the framework that will accelerate positive changes as a result of the new consortium model. They need to know the problematic aspects of the proposed budget that will impede progress. It’s our job to get the necessary points across. We need to emphasize that we aren’t advocating on behalf of teachers, students or staff, but rather on behalf of all Californians. It’s a crucial time to be able to look ahead and envision a better future for adult education.
Another quote from the EdSource article:
During the past few months, more districts have given preliminary layoff notices to adult school staff based on the governor’s earlier proposal to shift responsibility to community colleges starting in 2013-14. The governor’s change of heart is due to these “unintended consequences,” according to Ana Matosantos, California’s director of finance.
Governor Brown and Ana Matosantos need to realize that there will be more “unintended consequences” until we secure designated funding. We remain vulnerable to the whims of our local school districts under the current plan. Ms. Matosanto’s phone number is (916) 445-4141. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are still in the midst of the budget process. We need to show that California Adult Schools have GRIT and we’re going to fight for what’s right.
As always, if you have photos to share or would like to submit a post for the A4CAS FB page, please send an email to: Alliance4CAS@gmail.com