Sunday, June 30, 2013

Analysis of Senate Bill 173

Date of Hearing: June 26, 2013
Joan Buchanan, Chair
SB 173 (Liu) – As Amended: May 28, 2013
[Note: This bill is doubled referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee and will be heard as it relates to issues under its jurisdiction.]
SUBJECT: Education funding: adult health and safety education
SUMMARY: Establishes guidelines and recommendations for adult education program in the areas of assessment, performance accountability, and teacher requirements; and eliminates specified classes and courses authorized to be funded from the adult education fund and California Community Colleges (CCC) adult education noncredit apportionments. Specifically, this bill:
1) Requires the California Department of Education (CDE), in conjunction with the chancellor's office of the CCC, to coordinate and issue assessment policy guidelines regarding assessments to be used by school districts and community college districts for purposes of placement in adult education courses.
2) Requires the CDE and the chancellor's office to do the following:
a) Jointly establish and implement a comprehensive performance accountability system for adult education courses; and,
b) Develop guidelines and procedures for all adult education funded providers for assessment, evaluation, and data collection to document participant outcomes and placement and other performance measures they deem appropriate. Specifies that performance measures may include receipt of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, placement in a postsecondary educational institution, training, and employment. Specifies that to the extent possible, these performance measures shall be consistent with those required and implemented pursuant to the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. Requires all funded programs to annually submit demographic and other student-level outcome information.
3) Defines "chancellor's office" as the Office of the Chancellor of the CCC, and "department" to mean the CDE.
4) Removes the following classes from the list of authorized classes and courses offered by school districts and county superintendent of schools for apportionment purposes from the adult education fund:
a) Adult programs in parenting, including parent cooperative preschools, and classes in child growth and development, parent-child relationships, and parenting;
b) Adult programs for older adults;
c) Adult programs in home economics; and,
d) Adult programs in health and safety education.
5) Authorizes the governing board of a community college district to charge a fee for classes it offers, except for classes in English and citizenship in order to ensure that community college districts have the capacity to meet the demand for adult education courses for recent immigrants. Specifies that any community college district that chooses to charge a fee shall report the amount of the fee, the number of classes, and enrollment in those classes to the Office of the Chancellor of the CCC. Requires the chancellor's office to make the information available to the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO). Requires the LAO to provide a summary and analysis of the reported information to the Assembly Budget, Education and Higher Education Committees, and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review and Education Committees by January 1, 2016.
6) Removes the following noncredit adult education courses and classes as eligible classes for funding:
a) Parenting, including parent cooperative preschools, classes in child growth and development and parent-child relationships;
b) Education programs for older adults;
c) Education programs for home economics; and,
d) Health and safety education.
7) Requires, by July 1, 2014, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and the Academic Senate for the CCC to meet to review their current requirements for noncredit adult education and adult education instructors, and develop and submit recommendations to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature for modifying or establishing reciprocity standards for instructors of adult education courses.
8) Expresses the intent of the Legislature that:
a) Nothing in this bill shall be construed to limit the authority of school districts and community college districts to offer adult education programs and courses other than those specified in law, provided that those programs or courses are funded through alternative funding sources, including fees, if the district is authorized to charge fees.
b) Beginning in the 2015-16 fiscal year, base adult education funds and noncredit adult education funds shall be allocated to providers on the basis of a combination of enrollment and performance in courses.
1) Authorizes the establishment of adult school programs and specifies eligibility criteria, programmatic requirements, and the manner in which school districts' adult education revenue limit per unit of average daily attendance (ADA) shall be determined.
2) Authorizes a county office of education (COE) to administer an adult education program and authorizes each eligible school district within its jurisdiction to participate in the program.
Authorizes a COE to report the ADA of each school district participating in the adult education program for the purpose of receiving revenue limit apportionments.
3) Authorizes the following classes and courses to be offered by the school districts and county superintendent of schools for apportionment purposes from the adult education fund:
a) Adult programs in parenting, including parent cooperative preschools, and classes in child growth and development, parent-child relationships, and parenting.
b) Adult programs in elementary and secondary basic skills and other courses and classes required for the high school diploma.
c) Adult education programs in English as a second language.
d) Adult education programs for immigrant eligible for educational services in citizenship, English as a second language, and workforce preparation classes in the basic skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, mathematics, decisionmaking and problem solving skills, and other classes required for preparation to participate in job specific technical training.
e) Adult education programs for adults with disabilities.
f) Adult short-term career technical education programs with high employment potential.
g) Adult programs for older adults.
h) Adult education programs for apprentices.
i) Adult programs in home economics.
j) Adult programs in health and safety education.
4) Prohibits state apportionment to be made for any course or class not specified in law.
5) Authorizes the governing board of a school district to require a fee. For a class in English and citizenship, a fee may be charged only until July 1, 2015. Prohibits the total of the fees required and revenues derived from the ADA from exceeding the estimated cost of all such classes maintained.
6) Defines "adult" as a person 18 years of age or older for a person who is not concurrently enrolled in a regular high school program.
7) For the 2008-09 to 2014-15 fiscal years, authorizes recipients of specified categorical program funds to use those funds for any educational purpose.
FISCAL EFFECT: According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, savings in excess of $26 from the elimination of the specified courses and potentially significant up-front costs and ongoing workload for the CDE and the chancellor's office to meet the coordination and reporting requirements.
COMMENTS: Background. Adult education is provided by a number of delivery systems, including community colleges, public libraries, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, prisons, and COEs. In 2008-09, adult education programs enrolled 1.2 million adult learners in almost 300 adult schools throughout California. Prior to 2009-10, school districts' funding levels were based on what they received in 1977-78 and grew by a cap of 2.5% from the previous year's funding level. The revenue limit in 2007-08 for each unit of ADA (comprised of 525 hours of accumulated seat time) was $2,645.30. The 2012-13 budget allocated $635 million for adult education programs. Due to budget problems, from the 2008-09 through 2014-15 fiscal years,local educational agencies (LEAs) are allowed to use approximately 40 categorical programs funds for any educational purposes. According to the LAO, schools districts have diverted between 50 to 60 percent of the adult education program funds for other general fund uses.
Adult education schools offer the following ten programs:
1) Adult Basic Education;
2) English as a Second Language;
3) High School Diploma or Adult Secondary Education, including General Education Development certification;
4) Citizenship Preparation;
5) Career Technical Education;
6) Adults with Disabilities;
7) Health and Safety;
8) Parent Education;
9) Home Economics; and,
10) Older Adult.
Purpose of the bill. According to the author's office, this bill is based on a December 2012 report by the LAO titled, "Restructuring California's Adult Education System." The author states, "This bill begins the implementation of programmatic changes necessary to better align the bifurcated system of delivering adult education and non-credit adult education courses, and to begin a shift towards a more rational and coordinated funding approach for K-12 adult education and CCC noncredit adult education programs in California."
The two largest providers of adult education are school districts and the CCC, with, according to the LAO, the majority provided by the CCC (about 66% of full-time equivalent students (525 hours of instructional hours) in 2009-10). The LAO argues that the two systems have unclear lines of responsibility, an overly broad mission, inconsistent state-level policies, lack of coordination among providers, and limited student data, despite serving the same student populations. The December report suggests that the system is in need of comprehensive restructuring.
This bill addresses the following:
Authorized classes. The LAO argues that while all classes have value, adult education programs should focus on the knowledge and skills needed to participate in civic life and workforce, which includes the first six on the list above. This bill eliminates the authorization to use adult education apportionments to offer the following course and classes:
1) Parenting programs: According to the CDE, these are classes that promote the healthy development of children, high-quality family relationships, and children's success in school. Classes in this program help individuals and families meet the challenges of daily living through health and financial literacy to improve the quality of home and family life. Examples of classes offered include "Parenting the newborn-14 month old," and "Parenting an elementary school age child."
2) Older adult programs: According to the CDE, these are classes designed specially to deal with issues related to aging. These classes provide intellectual, physical, financial, and social
stimulation and resources addressing the demands of a growing and active older population. Classes offered include "Exercise and fitness", "Ceramics", and "Understanding and using computers."
3) Home economics programs: These classes include "cooking", "knitting", and "wood working".
4) Health and safety education: These classes include basic CPR and first aid, aerobics, and weight management.
Several organizations oppose the elimination of some or all of these courses, expressing concerns that their elimination will decrease access. These organizations state that these classes provide some adults a second chance and recent immigrants a first chance at a quality education. They also argue that courses such as parenting education offer adults critical life skills. Others, such as the San Francisco Advisory Council to Aging and Adult Services, oppose the elimination of programs for older adults. As part of a $4 million federal nutrition grant received by the city that provides meal to senior and persons with disabilities, participants are required to attend nutrition courses. The City College of San Francisco provides weekly classes in 26 congregate meal locations for older adults to meet this requirement. In San Francisco, the school district chooses not to operate an adult education program; the community college district is the sole provider.
According to the CDE, in 2008-09, enrollment for these four programs was approximately 255,000, representing 20.9% of the total enrollment of adult education.
The bill expresses legislative intent that school districts and CCC have the authority to offer programs and courses other than those authorized for funding, provided that those programs and courses are funded by other sources, including fees.
Assessment. K-12 adult schools and the CCC use assessments for enrollment and placements. While the CCC is required to only use assessment tools approved by the chancellor's office for advisory purposes and not for placement of students in classes, adult schools can use any assessments they choose and can use them for minimum qualifications to enroll in a class or to determine appropriate class placement. This bill directs the CDE, in conjunction with the chancellor's office, to develop assessment policy guidelines to be used by both systems for purposes of placement in K-12 and CCC adult education courses. The bill is silent on whether the assessment can be used to determine whether a student meets minimum qualification for enrollment.
Performance accountability. This bill requires the CDE and the chancellor's office to develop guidelines and procedures for all adult education funded providers for assessment, evaluation and data collection to document participant outcomes and placement, and other performance measures they deem appropriate, such as whether the student received a secondary school diploma, placement in a postsecondary educational institution, or became employed.
Concerns have been expressed that this provision is unnecessary and duplicative. States that receive federal WIA Title II funds are already required to collect performance data. The state received $91 million in 2011-12 to provide adult elementary and secondary education and English as a second language classes. The CDE allocates its share of funding to providers based on performance points.
The CCC already has a robust data collection system that was augmented by the Student Success Scorecard released in April this year. The scorecard was a recommendation of the Student Success Task Force, enacted by SB 1143 (Liu), Chapter 409, Statutes of 2010. The scorecard provides performance data that includes completion and persistence rates that can be broken down by student demographics.
The Committee may wish to consider requiring the CDE and the chancellor's office to develop recommendations to submit to the Legislature before requiring implementation of a performance accountability system.
The bill requires all funded programs to annually submit demographic and other student-level outcome information, but the bill does not specify to whom the data is reported to. If the Committee chooses to pass this bill, staff recommends an amendment to clarify that the data is to be reported to the CDE and the chancellor's office.
This bill also states legislative intent that beginning in 2015-16, base adult education funds and noncredit adult education funds shall be allocated to providers on the basis of a combination of enrollment and performance in courses. It may be premature to make such a declaration before the CDE and the chancellor's office develop and agree to a joint performance accountability system. Staff recommends revising this provision to strike the reference to 2015-16 and amend the provision to declare the Legislature's intent to evaluate and consider funding adult education programs based on enrollment and performance in courses.
Teacher qualifications. K-12 adult school teachers are required to have a teaching credential, while CCC instructors are required to have a bachelor or master's degree depending on the type of course taught. The LAO believes that adult education instructors should be able to teach in either system. Requiring a teaching credential limits a CCC instructor's ability to teach in K-12 adult schools; the LAO recommends eliminating the requirement for adult school teachers to have a teaching credential. This bill directs the CTC and the Academic Senate for the CCC to review the requirements for noncredit adult education and adult school instructors, and develop and submit recommendations to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature by July 1, 2014. The CTC is concerned that the timeline may be too short. Staff recommends extending the date of the required report.
Governor's proposals. In January, the Governor proposed in his 2013-14 budget shifting the coordination and administration of all adult education programs to the CCC. The K-12 adult education program would be eliminated, but CCC could contract with school districts to provide instruction. Due to concerns about the timing and structure of the proposal, the Governor's may revision of the budget withdrew the proposal and instead maintains the current system for two years while allocating $30 million for planning grants awarded to regional consortia comprised of K-12 and CCC districts for the purpose of creating plans to integrate existing programs and determine how best to serve adult students within regions throughout the state. The budget adopted by the Legislature reduced the planning grants to $25 million and adopted trailer bill language in AB 86 (Budget Committee), which is pending on the Governor's desk.
The trailer bill establishes the Adult Education Consortium Program with the following features:
1) Eligibility is limited to consortiums consisting of at least one community college district and at least one school district within the boundaries of a community college district. Consortia may include other entities providing adult education courses, such as correctional facilities, other local public entities and community-based organizations.
2) Planning grants must be used to create and implement a plan to better provide adults in its region with all of the following:
a) Elementary and secondary basic skills, including classes requires for a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate.
b) Classes and courses for immigrants eligible for educational services in citizenship and English as a second language, and workforce preparation classes in basic skills.
c) Education programs for adults with disabilities.
d) Short-term career technical education program with high employment potential.
e) Programs for apprentices.
3) The regional consortium plan shall include an evaluation of existing levels and types of adult education programs in the region, current needs, how the parties that make up the consortium will integrate their programs to create seamless transitions into postsecondary education or the workforce, plans to address gaps identified in the current offerings and needs, plans to employ approaches to accelerate a student's programs toward his or her academic or career goals, plans to collaborate in the provision of ongoing professional development opportunities, and plans to leverage existing regional structures, including local workforce investment areas.
The chancellor and the CDE shall submit a joint status report by March 1, 2014 and a final report by March 1, 2015. The intent of the Governor is to provide some level of additional funding ($500 has been proposed) to provide adult education services through the regional consortia beginning in 2015-16. The courses allowed to be provided through the consortia are consistent with the intent of this bill. School districts and CCC can continue to offer their existing adult education programs separate from the regional consortia. Because categorical funds are eliminated through the Local Control Funding Formula, school districts choosing to continue their adult education programs would do so using their base funds. CCC may continue to earn revenue limit funding. However, under this bill, the CCC and school districts may not offer the four courses eliminated by this bill. In order to give districts time to plan and to better coordinate with the Consortium Program, staff recommends delaying the elimination of the four courses by two years.
Technical amendment: The provisions relating to assessments and performance accountability in Section 1 of the bill were incorporated in the section of the Education Code establishing the CDE and specifying the duties of the CDE. Staff recommends moving these provisions to the adult education sections of the law.
Arguments in support. The California Council for Adult Education and the California Adult Education Administrators Association state, "Over a hundred and fifty years after its founding and after years of financial distress, adult education needs reforming – a notion that has been echoed by the California Department of Education's Strategic Plan, Legislative Analyst's Office and now the Governor. Importantly, the LAO and CDE do not call for dismantling adult education. On the contrary, both entities acknowledge the important and valuable programs that K-12 based adult education provides to its students and the broader community."
Arguments in opposition. The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) states, "CFT understands your goal is to strengthen adult education as the state emerges from the past few years of budget cuts, which in combination with categorical flexibility, resulted in the decimation of adult education offerings by too many K-12 school districts. This is a goal we share. Two sections of [the] bill – those dealing with collaboration between the community college and K-12 systems on performance assessments and reciprocal instructor qualifications – create opportunities for greater coordination and efficiency between segments…Unfortunately, the remaining provisions in SB 173 will decrease access for adult learners in California." CFT, along with a number of other groups, have an "oppose unless amended" position. The requested amendments restore the elimination of the four courses and eliminate the performance accountability provision.
Association of California School Administrators
California Adult Education Administrators Association
California Council for Adult Education
Association of Continuing and Community Education
California Community College League of California
California Federation of Teachers
Faculty Association of California Community Colleges
San Diego Community College District
Los Rios Community College District
San Francisco Advisory Council to Aging and Adult Services
South Orange County Community College District
Yosemite Community College District
Many individuals
Analysis Prepared by: Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087

Friday, June 28, 2013


by:  Dan Garcia

Ford Park Adult School

The 2013-14 state budget on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting approval contains provisions that seek to preserve California’s Adult Education Program while also bringing major changes in 2015-16. The Governor has until June 30th to act on the budget. The provisions contained in the education trailer bills SB 81 and SB 91 impact current and future Adult Education programs:

No Cuts to Adult Education in Next Two Years and $500 million in 2015-16
The state budget requires districts that receive Adult Education funds to continue their 2012-13 expenditure level for the next two fiscal years, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Beginning in 2015-16, the state would provide $500 million to fund Adult Education with the institution of local consortia based on partnerships with community colleges. For the 2013-14 fiscal year, the budget provides $25 million to fund local planning grants for regional Adult Education consortia being required in 2015-16.

Funding and Coordination of the Local Planning Grants
With an appropriation of $25 million, California Community Colleges and the California Department of Education will have the joint responsibility of funding the regional consortia planning grants. In March 2014, the legislature is to receive a status report on the progress of the consortia planning grants.

Adult Education Consortium Requirements
  • A local consortium will require the partnership of at least one school district and a community college district.
  • If the local community college district chooses to not participate, a neighboring community college district may be in the partnership.
  • Other entities, including correctional facilities, public entities, and community-based organizations, may be included in a consortium.

Courses to be included in Adult Education Consortia Plans
Grant funds are to be used to assure the following subjects are offered:
  • Elementary and secondary basic skills.
  • Classes for immigrants in citizenship and English as a second language, and workforce preparation classes in basic skills.
  • Education programs for adults with disabilities.
  • Short-term career technical education programs with employment potential.
  • Programs for apprentices.

What to Do?
  • Encourage local boards of education and superintendents to support Adult Education, and understand the new budget provisions noted above.
  • Thank legislators for preserving Adult Education in K12 districts.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

This Wednesday - SB 173 Hearing: ACT NOW to Save Adult School Older Adult and Parent Ed Programs

State funding for adult school Parent Education and Older Adult programs is still at risk. 
Kristen Pursley, on the Save Our Adult School blog explains the current situation with Older Adult and Parent Ed programs and the need to act immediately.  There will be a hearing on SB 173 on Wednesday.  SB 173 explicitly defunds these programs. 

As Cynthia Eagleton wrote in her recent blog postAfter five long years, we got a seat at the table - with a glass half-full of victory!  Cynthia also wrote on the Adult Education Matters blog about Senator Ted Lieu and his effort to save programs for Older Adults.  

Senator Ted Lieu's opinion piece proves that he's the legislator for whom we've been searching!  Please sign his petition "to urge Gov. Brown and the Legislature to continue stable funding of older adult education programs."  Although the form checks to see if the email is sent by one of his constituents, it doesn't exclude those from outside his district from signing the petition.

George Porter of Berkeley Adult School has kindly provided us with a message to cut & paste (or edit as you wish) in an email to your legislator and education committee members.  George limited the text to fit the requirement of 2,000 characters, leaving 19 characters to type your name at the bottom.

Here it is:


- Older Adults education programs have been State supported for six decades and are more important now than ever before - the ongoing health, independence, socioeconomic contributions and civic engagement of older Californians will have an increasingly large part to play in the weal of the State. The educational offerings these programs provide support this and so far there has been NO DISCUSSION as to how the opportunity can be best taken advantage of.

- Over the past few years the Older Adult programs have suffered severe cut-backs and the annual cost is estimated at a mere $22 million statewide. Despite this, what remains is healthy, strong and the infrastructure investment of skilled teachers, relationships with Senior and Community Centers, etc. and integration into the daily operations of Adult Ed. is still in place. Throwing that away is poor policy and harmful to both the short and long-term interests of all Californians.

- It's time to wisely rebuild Older Adults programs, not eliminate them. Though work-force development is of primary concern to Adult Ed., older Californians are also an asset. There are ways to support these programs that will allow the educational offerings to remain affordable for middle-class, elder Californians living on a fixed income while ensuring that they don't grow too rapidly and demand a disproportionate share of funding.

- Again, at this point the issue of how to effectively support these programs has been ignored while the narrow-minded view that older Californians are simply a burden to be compensated for has prevailed. Assuming that those who have aged out of the workforce are no longer productive citizens worthy of investment is not only insulting to that community, but will result in policy detrimental to the California as a whole.  SB173's proposal to rescind funding is based on such an assumption and this portion MUST BE OPPOSED.

[Your Name Here]

Thank you to George, Kristen and Cynthia for all that they've done and continue to do!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adult Education is a vital partner in immigrant integration

FYI - the link to call your senator doesn't work, but here's the info you need:
Barbara Boxer 
(202) 224-3553

Dianne Feinstein

(202) 224-3841

From the National Coalition for Literacy's Advocacy Team:

The Senate is currently considering The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), which provides a path to citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants. The underlying bill requires applicants who wish to adjust from a newly-created Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status to demonstrate that they have learned English or are “satisfactorily pursuing a course of achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and Government of the United States.” S.744 was developed through extensive bipartisan negotiations by the “Gang of Eight” in the Senate.

This week, Sen. Rubio (R-FL) introduced an amendment that would eliminate the option of showing a good-faith effort by enrolling in a course of study and would require full proficiency before immigrants could begin their path to citizenship.The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) opposes this amendment, which would delay the path to citizenship for immigrants and which fails to allow for additional resources to the adult education/English language services necessary to assist immigrants in complying with these requirements.
Please call your Senator TODAY (Click HERE for the phone number).  Tell them:

Vote NO on the Rubio amendment to S.744. This proposed amendment contains no additional resources for adult education/English language services, but increases the stringency of the language requirements, intensifying the urgency for these types of services to help immigrants gain proficiency quickly. According to a recent analysis from the Migration Policy Institute, 70 percent of undocumented immigrants are not yet proficient in English.
Without the additional resources needed by the existing adult education system, immigrants will not be able to fulfill their English language requirements. At present, adult education and English language services in the U.S. suffer from extremely limited capacity. Current funding for FY13 is only $560 million and the latest data show that the program serves only 1.8 million adult learners (730,000 in English language services)—about 6 percent of the population that could benefit from these services. These programs also have waitlists in 49 states, with some potential students waiting longer than one year for space in the classroom.
Adult Education is a vital partner in immigrant integration. Adult education offers the classrooms, delivery systems, and time‐tested curriculum to help adults learn English and literacy skills that will help them integrate into society. Immigration reform should assist these immigrants in getting appropriate and quality services, building a key role for the adult education system.

Thank you!  NCL's Advocacy Team

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Important Information for School Board Meetings



School districts must continue the present 2012-13 level of Adult Education funding to be eligible for continued funding in 2015-16. 

The plan includes $25 million to provide for local planning grants that will determine the allocation of $500 million in the 2015-16 school year. Reflecting grant applications, beginning in 2015, Adult Education programs will need to establish partnerships with local community colleges.

It is critical that local district budget officials are informed of this requirement.  Failure to maintain the Adult Education funding will jeopardize future funding in 2015-16. 

Schools and programs that were headed for closure in 2013-14 because districts flexed all the AE funds, must be no less funded than the 2012-13 level for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Friday, June 14, 2013

News from CCAE

CCAE Special Edition
Legislative Update
As of this morning, the budget trailer bills are in print.  We're told that this is it - budget staff is unwilling to make any changes, especially with the budget vote being taken up tomorrow.  As previously discussed, the Administration has refused to accept the Assembly's plan to maintain adult education as a standalone "categorical" program.  Further, I've been clear that the ultimate decision about what moves forward resides with the Governor - the Legislature's approach up to this point wasn't sufficient to address the Administration's interest in reform and better coordination going forward.

As a compromise, the Legislature took action in this budget cycle, as a result of our heavy advocacy and their support for K-12 based adult education, to stem the bleeding in the short term.  More specifically, they have included in the budget trailer bill (SB 91, page 76 - see language as follows:

(7) For the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years only, of the funds a school district receives for purposes of regional occupational centers or programs, or adult education, the school district shall expend no less than the amount of funds the school district expended for purposes of regional occupational centers or programs, or adult education, respectively, in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

This approach places adult education and its funds as an add-on to the LCFF formula like class size reduction and CTE for the next two years.  This approach, in effect, stems the bleeding and prohibits further erosion of K-12 based adult education programs, requiring school districts to spend no less than the amount they spent on adult education in FY 12-13 for FY 13-14 and FY 14-15 (a mandate, not incentive as was the case under the May Revise).   The plan is silent on what happens to the funds for FY 15-16 and beyond - a fight for another day.   This was on top of approving $25 mil for coordination and planning around regional consortia for adult education under the main budget bill (AB 110, page 564 - see as follows:

41. The amount appropriated in Schedule (25) shall line 13 be allocated by the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges as two-year planning and implement grants to regional consortia of community college districts and school districts jointly selected by the Office of the Chancellor and the State Department of Education for the purpose of developing applications of the Adult Education Partnership Program as described in Article 3 of Part 50 of Division 7 of Title 3 of the Education Code. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the funds appropriated in this provision are available for encumbrance until June 30, 2015.

Any funding, governance or program area changes will require subsequent legislation.

Ultimately, the Legislature couldn't agree with the Administration's new structure and the Administration wouldn't agree to leave as standalone categorical as proposed under the Assembly version, so the compromise was the mandated maintenance of effort (MOE) for 2 years, a means by which to see if the planning process comes up with anything we can get consensus around.  Bottom line - the Legislature continues to strongly support K-12 based adult education and given the other chess pieces, they believe this was the best way to provide for us in the short term and give the Governor his win on the LCFF front.

Important Take-Aways

·         The FY 13-14 stems the bleeding. There will be no further erosion of adult education programs due to the mandate that school districts continue current (FY 12-14) funding levels for at least the next two years.
·         The plan maintains the adult education pot of money specifically for adult education for the next two years.
·         CDE will be an equal party in the dissemination of funds and overall regional consortia coordination effort.

While certainly not perfect, we have achieved an important victory in this budget cycle - stemming the bleeding, which was our primary goal in this budget cycle.   Certainly we were working to secure longer-term stability and funding; with the other components of education finance reform and an emboldened Administration who is becoming accustomed to getting its way, however, we must celebrate this victory even if it is a limited term.

As we look ahead, we must not become complacent; rather, we must continue to build upon our momentum and take the regional consortia effort by storm.  With only two years of maintained, dedicated funding for adult education secured pending the outcome of the regional consortia effort, we will inevitably be back at the negotiating table in a year and a half - whether to obtain funding for the status quo of K-12 based adult education in parallel to the CCC or for a regional effort.  This necessitates us continuing to build momentum, fostering your relationships with your elected officials and demonstrating to the Administration that we are committed and adamant that it be a workable system that includes K-12 adult education.

What the outcome will be in two years when we are back at the budget table will be entirely dependent on your engagement at the local level within these regional consortia - let's take them by storm and be the ones dictating our future!

Dawn Koepke
CCAE Advocate and Legislative Liaison

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Posted by Azusa Adult School in response to today's LAT article, "Gov. Brown leaves his mark"

We had the same thoughts;

In today's LA Times article, Brown is celebrating; however, did you notice that there was no mentioning, not one single word whatsoever, concerning the support of adult education in the entire lengthy article? It doesn't make any sense, but it's actually expected somehow.  Adult Ed. doesn't have the clout nor does it have the power it once held when people with more foresight were directly concerned about the educational level of their adult constituency. It is a well known fact that educated adults are more likely to help their children to master educational expectations at grade level. It seems as if Susan Frey from EdSource, made it her mission to continue to cover adult education and our plight in the press. If we give up and just stop caring for our fellow citizen in California, we are not any better than the politicians who purposely allowed the shifting of adult ed funds into districts' general fund without restrictions. 

Without restrictions in place, it was an easy and predictable move that districts up and down the state saw adult ed funding as an effortless way to fix their budgets. In all fairness, not all districts took advantage of it. Districts like Try Community, Baldwin Park, Montebello, and Hacienda LaPuente are just a few of a handful of districts who didn't jump on the bandwagon of easy money. Azusa district, although eliminating many of its classes since 2009, kept the school open until now. We still hold out hopes, however, until further notice the school is slated to be closed for good within the next few weeks unless there are changes at the state level adding $$$$ to K12 funding. Naturally, that all has to do with the elected school (board) officials and how they perceive the significance of lifelong learning and education. I just don't understand when a board member is saying "that their loyalty lies with the children." However, how can they say that when they, at the same time, take away the only opportunity this child's parents have to learn the language, get employment skills, and become involved in their child's life?

There are many ways to fix districts' budget dilemmas without diminishing adult ed funds and shutting down 100-year- old educational avenues that work. Adult ed is inexpensive, and it also helps K12 districts with their mission to educate high school students  and allow them to catch up on needed coursework. So let's hope for the best that Sacramento's politicians are willing to go the extra mile and actively look to find a way to keep adult education around for another 100 years. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rebuild Adult Ed: K-12 & Designated Funding Stream - Petition Update

3/31/13 email from Cynthia Eagleton to signers of the petition

Good continues.
Last week, for the first time ever, the Oakland School Board unanimously voted to fund what’s left of the once mighty Oakland Adult School, the little acorn that could, if Designated Funding comes soon, grow into a school that can once again serve the people of Oakland.
Significantly, the activism that led to this victory came in great part from the Family Literacy programs.
Families get it:  kids need parents who can speak English, navigate civic life, work, and be there for them, emotionally and physically.
It’s not a matter of kids versus adults.  It’s a matter of supporting adults so they can support the kids they know and love as only a family can.
Vulnerable programs like Oakland’s need Designated Funding NOW – not later.
The Assembly gets that and has come up with an excellent budget that would provide that.
This week, Adult School communities around the state are contacting the Governor and the Legislature to ask for Designated Funding NOW.
They are asking, too, that the CDE (California Department of Education) be “the banker” for that funding – not the CDE in combination with Community Colleges.  When two programs get money – in this case, K12 Schools and CC Non-Credit, it is not a good idea to make one of them “the banker.”  That’s just a basic we all know from family Monopoly games.  Make CDE the banker.  Create the sort of fair funding structure that leads to the trust that leads to real cooperation and success.  
Much good is happening and much momentum has developed for more good.
We need Designated Funding and we need it NOW and we need CDE to be in charge of it.
There is only one piece left in the work to renew and rebuild Adult Education.
And I told myself I would not pick it up.
I’ve already put in so many hours of activism and I know that these hours have not been spent with my child and my parents and I was reluctant to take on anything else that would take time away from my family.
But it is because I am an active parent and an involved adult child of senior parents that I am writing to tell you:

In the rush to get through that budget door before it closes, we've left some of us behind.

Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandad, Abuela y Abuelo, Mamaw and Pop Pop - they might not get through that door.
Because Gov. Brown specifically excluded Parent Education and Older Adults classes from his new plan for Adult Education.
So does Senate Bill 173.
(The Senate Budget plan does not specifically exclude Parent Ed and Older Adults  - but Senate Bill 173 does.
Perhaps 173 can be amended to include Older Adults, Parent Ed, and Adults with Disabilities. 
The fate of Adults with Disabilities is unclear to me, by the way.  And not because it doesn’t matter.)
The Assembly Budget plan is a very, very good one and doesn’t exclude anything. 

With the Assembly plan, 
Adult Schools would be able, it seems to me, to provide the same Adult Ed programs they did before, expanding, renewing, and rebuilding as they see best for their community.
The Assembly plan is a great plan.  It’s got it all:  money, no exclusions, and money now. 
But we need the Senate to agree to this same or similar plan, and the Governor, too.
Reminder:  Both houses of the legislature have to ponder all this, make their tweaks, and come to final vote by June 15.  Then it goes to the Governor who can make line item vetoes.  Which the Legislature could override.
Do you have a headache yet?  I know.  Me, too. 
Back to parents and older adults, here’s the thing:
Gov. Brown’s May Revise plan and Senate Bill 173 don’t get rid of seniors and parents.
Just the money for classes for them.
Seniors and parents would still be around after funds for their programs were cut.
And they would still have fair and honest needs for support.
So where do Brown and the Senate propose they get their needs met?
If you are going to take something away from someone, it is only fair that you do one of the following:
1.       Explain it was not needed
2.      Be honest that it was needed but you don’t value them and you’re taking it away because they and their needs are not important to you and you can do this so you’re doing it.  (I think that’s called bullying, being mean, unfair, and a lot of other things we pretty much don’t like.)
3.      Acknowledge they and their needs have value but you can’t afford to meet them right now so you’re taking them away for the moment (this is what happened to all Adult Ed with Flexibility)
4.      Acknowledge they and their needs have value but you need switch up how you meet and pay for them.  So you plan to meet them right now in some other way from a different source.
5.      Acknowledge they and their needs have value but you can’t afford to meet their needs right now.  You’ll meet them in the future when conditions make that possible.
In the case of Older Adults and Parent Education, these programs are such a small part of Adult Education which is already the cheapest and smallest branch of public education, and we are no longer in a budget crisis, and seniors and parents helped to pass Prop 30 which is a big reason why we have this money to spend…. 
So…  why are these programs being eliminated?
Does Brown think Seniors and Parents are groups without worth? 
Or that their needs are invalid?  
Or does he mistakenly think they take but don’t give?
It is easy to see the economic value of immigrants and young adults and job seekers. Either already or very soon, they will be contributing to the great economic engine of the state.
The value of families is different.
And really, when we talk about parents and seniors, we’re talking about family.
Because even though seniors were part of the state economic engine for many, many years or still are (as Brown is), and paid and pay taxes, they aren’t generally seen as part of the economic engine. 
They’re seen as a drain on the engine in the form of healthcare costs and simply because most of them are retired (again, except Brown and a few others… like the man who explained why all those mistakes were made on the new Bay Bridge.  I think that guy is in his eighties.).
A state with great industry has money.
A state with great industry and great stability can spend that money on good things – infrastructure, education, recreation, intellectual expansion, etc.
A state with great industry and great instability spends its money on prisons, juvenile detention centers, social problems, and rehabs.
Which one sounds like California?
We need great schools.  We do. 
We also need great families.
And it’s utterly fair to for families to need and receive support in order to be the best families they can be.
Great families, more than anything else, provide tremendous stability to a culture. 
It is worth the small cost it takes to provide families with Parent Education classes and Older Adults classes.
Schools prepare our young people for jobs and participation in civic life, but they can never do what a family does.
No aftercare program, no matter how wonderful it is, is the same thing as a strong, stable family.
This is not to say we shouldn’t have aftercare programs!  We should!  And I personally have used them for my own child.  Good ones.  Which I appreciated very much.
But they are aftercare programs.  They are NOT FAMILIES.
School is school.
And family is family.
And schools need money to be good schools – to teach the Common Core and Civics and ESL and everything else that is needed to prepare our people for work and civic life and democracy.
(Like how does a bill and a budget get passed?  Wow, this activism stuff is teaching me about civics in a way school never did.)
And families need support to help them cope with everything from a challenging set of toddler twins to a grandparent who needs an exercise class to avoid the falls that result in a broken hip that result in mom or dad taking time from work to help grandma recover from her hip surgery – not to mention coping with the wild combo platter of the twins, their depressed teenage brother, the lonely mother-in-law with the broken hip, and the angry boss because once again, you’re out with a family problem and migraines from stress.
It’s okay to need help as a family.
It’s okay and it’s human and with actually with a fairly small amount of reasonably priced support, families can cope with a lot of stress.
Human beings are strong and adaptable.  We can cope with a lot.
But we do sometimes need a bit of help.
And that’s okay.
I’m writing this petition update  - I know, why the heck am I sharing all this, hunh?! – because we still have a little window of time and I’m suggesting we use it.
Let’s speak up.
Let’s tell the Governor and the Legislature that Adult Education matters –
Including Adult Education for Older Adults and Parents.
It’s low-cost.
It’s needed.
It’s effective.
And seniors and parents have already paid for it through decades of taxes in the case of seniors and Prop 30 in the case of both parents and seniors.
And if Gov. Brown and the Legislature choose not to pay for it…
If they choose to exclude and eliminate it…
They need to say why.
That’s basic.  That’s fair.
One more thing – while I use the word family here, perhaps a better word is community.
Not everyone has kids.  Not everyone has parents.  But we’re all part of a community.
And it’s a community that is far stronger when its kids and seniors are loved and cared for.
Someone slipping into dementia because of loneliness and inactivity doesn’t make for a stronger economy – or a better place to live as a human being.  More like, if that senior is part of a state with a strong economy, a lot of money will have to go to healthcare costs. And a lot of seniors will suffer deep emotional pain and loneliness.  And a lot of other people will do a lot to shut out that pain because it makes them feel sad and guilty and afraid, because maybe one day that will be them or right now it is their mother or sister or neighbor.   Again, sound familiar?
It’s possible to provide parents and seniors with the support they need through an already existing and proven program.
It’s called Adult Education.
So get out your pens and pencils. Or pick up the phone.  Or send an email.
You can click here to contact the Governor.  Be sure to tell him we need Designated Funding and we need it NOW, while you’re at it.  And make CDE the banker – because remember, when you’re giving twins twenty bucks each, it is not a good idea to hand one of them forty bucks and the other one nothing with the instruction that the money is for both of them.
You can click here to contact AARP because they’re not listening to me although they have offered me a very cool travel bag if I join them.  Maybe they’ll listen to you.
You can click here read George’s idea on how we can pay for Older Adults classes in a very low-cost way.
You can click here to see Maureen’s video on the difference Older Adults classes make in the lives of seniors.

You can click here to hear what Irma Becerra Nunez knows about that, too.  
You can click here to read about the Ripple Effects of Older Adults and Parent Education classes.
You can click here to read about that amazing Older Adult who is pointing out what went wrong with the Bay Bridge.
You can click here to read about another Older Adult who is thinking of running for another term in 2014.
You can click here to read about why families need support.
You can click here to read about why seniors do.
You can click here and here to read two of my favorite authors on these matters.
And finally, you can click here to enjoy some downhome fun cuz goldarnit, this activism stuff is tiring and sometimes you need some JOY to keep you going.
I joke around a lot but you know I’m dang serious about all this.
And I’m dang serious, too, when I say thank you for signing the petition, thank you for reading all the way through this, and thank you for being awake in a world that is full of pain as well as joy, hardship as well as ease, injustice as well as peace. 
It’s not easy to keep going sometimes.  I know.  I get that.  Sometimes, in fact, it’s too hard – and people give up.
That’s why it’s all the more important to share our strength and offer support, to work as a group for the benefit of the individual, and as an individual for the benefit of the group - just as we do in a family.
Thanks for doing that with me here.