Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why California’s Adult Schools Need Dedicated Funding By Communities Organized to Support Adult School (COSAS)

K-12 Adult Schools Need Dedicated Funding. The governor has proposed that all funding for K-12 adult schools come through the Community College Chancellor’s Office by way of the Regional Consortia. However, adult schools need dedicated funding to assure the maintenance of their particular strengths. The state can better assure access to adult education services for all Californians and the continuing support of adult schools for the mission of the K-12 schools by providing dedicated funding for adult schools.

1. According to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) adult schools work well for their students. In 2012, the LAO conducted an extensive study of the state’s community college and adult school system and released its findings in a report entitled “Restructuring California’s Adult Education System”. On page 15, the report notes that outcomes for adult schools are comparable to outcomes for community college non-credit programs.

2. Adult schools support the mission of K-12 Schools. Adult school Parent Education, Family Literacy and Credit Recovery programs support the mission of K-12, but not the mission of community colleges. Adult education classes in schools increase parent involvement in the schools, and make schools into community centers. Adult schools need to receive dedicated funding through the K-12 schools so they continue their close association with and support for K-12 schools.

3. Because they are part of K-12 districts, adult schools can provide accessible, community based classes that serve their students best by holding classes at K-12 sites. Because many adult school students are low-income and have limited access to transportation, classes at the neighborhood school work well for them. If all money for adult schools comes through the community colleges, there is a risk that adult schools will become alienated from their K-12 districts; they could even be seen as an incursion into the affairs of the K-12 district by the community college. This could make it more difficult for adult schools to hold classes at K-12 district facilities, thus reducing access for many students. Adult schools need dedicated funding to assure continued use of K-12 district facilities.

4. The teaching of basic literacy, the primary function of adult schools, is more in line with the mission of K-12 schools than the mission of community colleges, which is to provide college-level instruction. Adult Basic Education is the equivalent of an elementary education, and adult school High School Diploma programs are equivalent to a secondary education. Most adult school ESL students read English at below the 8th grade level. Community colleges are institutions of higher learning. They provide some remediation for their students, but that is not their core mission. Adult schools need dedicated funding so that they can continue prioritizing basic literacy education, thus fulfilling the state’s commitment to a basic education for all Californians.

5. The ratio of adult schools to community colleges is almost 3:1; adult schools need dedicated funding to assure that adults will have adequate access to education. There are about 300 adult schools in California and about 112 community colleges. Community colleges are concentrated in urban centers; rural and remote areas. If all funding for adult education comes through community colleges, there is no guarantee that community colleges will maintain adult school services in a crisis rather than saving their own programs. This could lead to further closures of adult schools during the next fiscal crisis, resulting in severely reduced access to educational services for adults in the state.

For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, see

Friday, December 5, 2014

Community Colleges and Adult Schools: How They Work and Who Does What (from the Save Your Adult School Blog)

Community Colleges and Adult Schools: How They Work and Who Does What, Part 1: The Community Colleges, Credit and Noncredit Programs

The AB86 Regional Consortium planning process has been something of a crash course for adult schools and community colleges alike. The subject matter we have to master is each other, and the final exam will come in the 2015-2016 school year, when the plans will actually begin to be implemented.
The consortium planning process holds great promise for better collaboration between the adult school and community college systems and improved educational opportunities for California’s adults. However, for the process to really work well, K-12 adult schools need their own dedicated funding. The original proposal for the consortia did not include dedicated funding for adult schools; all funds for the consortia were to come through the community colleges. The original funding proposal was meant to simplify the budgets of K-12 schools by eliminating most categorical programs, including adult schools. However, without dedicated funding for adult schools, the state is at risk of losing their considerable strengths, which include accessibility and support for the mission of the K-12 schools. Governor Brown has the opportunity to assure that adult schools continue to provide their crucial services to the state by including dedicated funding for them in his January budget.
The community colleges and adult schools are both very important components of the California’s education system, and both need to be preserved. Community colleges, fortunately, already have dedicated funding. In order to understand why dedicated funding for adult schools is important, it helps to understand how the adult school and community college systems operate, and how they currently divide the work of educating California’s adults.
Adult schools and community colleges are both composed of two types of programs. Community colleges may be composed of both credit and noncredit programs, though not all community colleges have noncredit programs and only a few have extensive noncredit programs. And adult schools may have both mandated and community interest programs. This post will examine the two community college programs.
Community College Credit Programs: This Is College! To understand community college credit programs, just think college: a semester or quarter system where students can only start the program at two or three specific times during the year, courses that last a quarter or semester, grades, credits, and a degree at the end. For a community college, the degree is usually a two-year AA degree that will allow the graduate to transfer to a four-year college as a junior to complete the BA degree, though plans are in the works to allow some community colleges to offer four-year degrees on a limited basis. The familiar administrative structure of college is there as well: community colleges have presidents, deans, department chairs, and so on. Community colleges will often have a campus with an administrative building, buildings dedicated to the various departments, a library, bookstore, and sports facilities similar to the campuses of other types of colleges and universities.
Some Differences between Community College Credit Programs and Four Year Institutions
Admissions-Everybody Welcome!: Unlike the UC System and the state universities, community colleges do not have a competitive admissions process. Community colleges are open to all; it is not even necessary to earn a high school diploma in order to attend a community college. It is probably because of this feature of the community colleges, their universal accessibility, that the state considers them “adult education” rather than strictly institutions of higher learning.
Student Fees—Per Credit Charge: Community colleges don’t charge tuition in the manner of universities and four year colleges. Instead, students pay for classes at a certain amount per unit. This means classes can cost different amounts based on how many units the student will earn upon successfully completing the class. Like four year institutions, community colleges charge out-of-state students (defined as students who have lived in California less than one year) more than California residents. In the community colleges, out-of-state students pay more per unit than residents, rather than paying out-of- state tuition. At least some community colleges use legal residency in California as the standard for state residency, which means undocumented immigrants who have lived and paid taxes in California for decades must pay the much higher out-of-state rate, making community college credit classes too expensive for many in this population. Like four-year institutions, community colleges have financial aid, but this may not be available for undocumented students.   Community colleges also have fee waivers for low income students, though, again, these waivers may not be available for undocumented students.
Community College Noncredit – A Different Model:   Community college noncredit and K-12 adult school programs actually share a model that is very different from community college credit programs. The model is very clearly delineated in a presentation entitled “ENDING California’s Public Adult Education Through Policy: Will You Let It Happen?” which was prepared for a California Federation of Teachers Convention Adult Education Workshop in 2012. As the title indicates, the model is at risk in both the K-12 and community college systems. Since the presentation does such a good job of describing the model, I will simply quote it here. The whole presentation can be viewed here:
 Here is the description of the noncredit/adult school model:
  •  Students may begin and end their enrollment at any time.
  • Credit is not awarded and there are no grades.
  • The focus is on learning, not the achievement of credentials.
  • Adults of all ages and abilities are welcome.
  • Primarily low income adults are served in classes near their homes.
  • Many students get to class on foot or by public transportation
  • Instruction incorporates review to support open entry and adult learning styles; expectations of homework are generally limited.
  • Classes are free or students may pay a token fee* or books/materials cost.
  • Classes may be repeated until mastery is achieved. 
*Fees may not be charged in noncredit but are allowed in k12 Adult Ed.
-“ENDING California’s Public Adult Education Through Policy: Will You Let It Happen?” CFT Convention Adult Education Workshop, 4/13/2012, page 2.
In regards to the footnote, it is true that in 2012 K12 adult schools were allowed to charge fees due to the categorical flexibility that so devastated adult schools beginning in 2008. However, before 2008, adult schools were also required to offer certain classes free, including English as a Second Language, High School Diploma, Adult Basic Education and classes for Adults with Disabilities. Even now, some adult schools do not charge a fee for these classes.
The “Ending California’s Public Adult Education…” presentation is well worth reading, as it explains why the noncredit/adult school model is under attack. While the model welcomes all students, it is particularly helpful for adults who are not only busy, but dealing with the stresses of poverty. In this type of class, students who had little formal schooling as children or never did well in the traditional school system find a home and begin to fulfill their potential. But with no grades, no credentials or degrees, no hard beginning and end date, it doesn’t look much like what we typically think of as “school.” It’s that “focus on learning” that throws people. Learning? What about grades and tests?
But anyone who has taught this type of class can tell you it works, and furthermore, there are standardized test results and other data that demonstrate its effectiveness. There is more than one way to educate people, and not everyone benefits from the formal school model.
Noncredit Community College Programs Represent Only 14% of All Adult Education in California
 While the noncredit model has significant strengths, it is not in extensive use in California in the community colleges. A report on the community college and adult school systems by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) found that community college noncredit programs make up just 14% of the adult education provided in California (LAO report, “Restructuring California’s Adult Education System”, issued in December 2012, p.11
The noncredit model is extensively used in adult schools, however.
Large Noncredit Community College Programs Are Concentrated in a Few Areas; Ten Districts Provide 85% of Noncredit Instruction
As the LAO report explains, most of the noncredit community college instruction in California is provided by a few large programs:
“… only a handful of (community) colleges offer a robust selection of noncredit adult education. The largest CC noncredit providers are the Rancho Santiago (Orange County), San Francisco, San Diego, North Orange, Mount San Antonio (Los Angeles County) and Los Angeles districts. Together, these six districts accounted for two-thirds of noncredit FTE students in 2011-2012, with the top ten largest district providers accounting for about 85 percent of CCC noncredit instruction.” –“ Restructuring California’s Adult Education System”, pages 11-12.
So six community colleges account for all of the large noncredit programs, and most of them are in Southern California.
Because Not All Community Colleges Have Noncredit Programs, There Are Consortia Where No Noncredit Community Colleges Programs Exist 
The San Francisco East Bay, by no means a remote backwater, is an example of an area with very few noncredit programs. Neither the Peralta Colleges in the Oakland/Berkeley area nor the Contra Costa College system have noncredit programs, so the consortium planning for those systems is taking place between adult schools and community college credit programs.
In areas with large noncredit programs, the consortium planning may be taking place mainly between the noncredit program and the adult school, but this is certainly not the case in all areas of the state. 
In Some Areas of the State with Large Noncredit Programs, Community College Noncredit Programs Have Replaced Adult Schools, But this Is Rare 
In a few communities, like San Francisco and San Diego, all adult education is delivered through large community college noncredit programs, and there is no separate adult school.   This model seems to work well in the communities where it has been established, but it is by no means the dominant model in California, as large community college noncredit programs are, in fact, rare. Nor is there any evidence that these programs work better for their students than adult school programs. The LAO report noted, on page 15, that outcomes for adult schools are comparable to those of community college noncredit programs.

Community Colleges and Adult Schools, How They Work and Who Does What, Part 2: Adult Schools: Community Interest and Mandated Programs

Adult School Community Interest Classes – Welcome to the World: If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that still has an adult school, you probably receive an adult school catalog in the mail. If you perused the cooking, exercise, computer or craft classes looking for something that caught your eye, you were looking at the community interest classes. You probably checked the prices on these classes to see if you could afford them, and found the prices to be quite reasonable for the value. The modest fee you paid, if you took the class, helped pay for the cost of running the class; the fees you and the other students in the class paid covered the cost.
The class you took had some of the features of the community college noncredit courses described in part 1 of this series: There were no grades, no credits, and the focus was on learning. You could repeat the course if needed, and the class accommodated students of different levels of skill. However, your community interest class differed from a community college non-credit class because it did have a definite beginning and end, and you paid for it.
Community interest classes are in a certain sense the public face of adult schools, the feature most people know about. Because adult school catalogs are usually designed to attract people to the community interest classes, these classes are prominently featured, and because the fees are so reasonable, many people have taken a community interest adult school class at one time. This can cause a public relations problem for adult schools, to some extent. The strong association between the community interest classes and adult schools in the public mind, coupled with the understanding that adult schools are tax supported, can lead to confusion; adult schools get the undeserved reputation of offering frivolous recreational classes on the taxpayers’ dime.
This perception is completely false. The community interest classes are supported by fees. The mandated classes, which serve vulnerable Californians and mostly provide basic literacy instruction, are supported by taxes.
So community interest classes are all recreational, right? It’s good that the taxpayers aren’t paying for them, but they are still fluff?
Not really. Almost all the vocational education classes in adult schools are community interest classes. First aid and CPR classes that are needed to qualify for certain jobs are community interest. The class that leads to a food safety certificate for restaurant employees is a community interest class. The class that prepares students to pass the Certified Nursing Assistant class—that’s community interest too.
And there are some community interest classes that are not workforce related, but are pretty serious. Trainings on how to respond to a major disaster in your community are offered as community interest classes, for example.
The fact is, community interest classes have a marvelous serendipity to them. In a sense, the whole world is there to study for a reasonable fee, in both its fun and serious aspects.
Community interest classes are mostly left out of the consortium planning discussion. It is more or less assumed that they will continue to roll along as long as the adult school continues. That is true, but it is also true that when the mandated classes are severely defunded, the adult school, including the community interest classes, disappears. This happened in Oakland, which has a few scraps of its mandated programs left, but no more community interest classes.
And while the consortia are mainly understood to be working on pathways from the adult school to the community college, it would make just as much sense to create pathways from some adult school programs, like ESL or High School Diploma, to other community interest adult school programs with a job training focus, such as Certified Nursing Assistant.
Adult School Mandated Programs—State Funded Services for Vulnerable Californians:
 Mandated adult school programs are programs that, by law, are eligible for state funding. The programs are enumerated in California Education Code Section 41975, which can be viewed in full here:
Section 41975 enumerates ten programs: parenting, elementary and secondary basic skills , English as a Second Language, classes for immigrants in Citizenship, English, and workforce skills, programs for adults with disabilities, career technical education, programs for older adults, programs for apprentices, home economics, and health and safety education.
 The mandated programs are intended to provide services for vulnerable adults. Adults with low literacy and/or low income, immigrants who speak little or no English, adults with disabilities, and older adults are all populations that face significant challenges when it comes to accessing educational services. In addition to the more obvious economic and transportation barriers they face, they often feel uncomfortable in traditional school settings. Both native born and immigrant adults with low literacy levels may have bad memories of former school experiences, or have so little experience with formal education that a traditional classroom feels unfamiliar and overwhelming. The same may be true for adults with disabilities, while older adults may not feel comfortable in educational environments designed for younger learners. It is these populations that the noncredit model, which is used by community college noncredit programs and adult schools alike, is designed to serve.
Most adult school mandated programs follow the noncredit model closely, with an open entry/open exit registration system to make classes more accessible, a focus on learning and skills development rather than grades or credit, locations embedded in the community to make attending school easier for students with limited access to transportation, incorporation of review both  to accommodate new students and assure mastery of the material, and a commitment to serving students of different ages and abilities. The emphasis in adult school mandated classes is on breaking down barriers to learning. Classrooms are informal and welcoming, and a strong sense of community typically develops among the students.
In order to open the doors of education for low income students, adult school mandated classes, like community college noncredit classes, used to be offered free by law. In 2008, due to the budget crisis of that year, many of the laws governing adult schools were suspended in order to remove protections on adult school funding so that school districts, hard hit by budget cuts, could use adult school money to meet other budget obligations. Predictably, districts cut back adult school budgets severely in order to use the money for other programs, and some closed their adult schools altogether. Embattled by crippling budget cuts and faced with possible closure, some adult schools took advantage of the grey area created by the suspension of the laws and began charging for mandated classes. Even now, however, not all adult schools charge for mandated classes.
 In a certain sense, the AB 86 Regional Consortia are about the fate of the adult school mandated programs. Community colleges already have guaranteed funding for both their credit and non-credit programs; their funding structure has not been eliminated or radically changed, and they are not at risk. If mandated adult school programs can be saved, community interest adult school classes will continue to thrive.
But mandated adult school programs face an uncertain future. The protections on their funding that were removed in 2008 were never restored, even when the state’s economy began to rebound.
In 2013, the adult schools that managed to survive got some relief from relentless yearly budget cuts when the legislature included a Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provision in that year’s budget. The MOE required districts that still had adult schools to continue to spend the same amount on their adult schools in the 2013-23014 and 2014-2015 school years as they had spent in 2012-2013 school years. Obviously this hiatus is coming rapidly to a close. Beginning in July 2015, the plan is for adult schools to be funded through the regional consortia, with the funding to be determined by the individual consortium plans. The amount of funding and delivery system are yet to be determined; it is expected that the governor’s budget, due to come out in January, will provide more detail about funding. Those who work in adult schools are understandably on edge about what will happen between now and July 2015. School districts have to plan their budgets far in advance, and when adult school staff return from the winter break in January, they could be three months away from March 15 pink slips depending on what is in the budget and how their districts interpret it.
Ed. Code Section 41975, which enumerates the adult school programs that are eligible for state funding, is still on the books. However, like many other laws governing adult schools, it is still suspended. AB 86 provides that six of the ten programs enumerated in Section 41975 can be eligible for consortium planning: elementary and secondary basic skills, English as a Second Language, classes for immigrants in Citizenship, English, and workforce skills, programs for adults with disabilities, career technical education, and programs for apprentices. Parenting programs, programs for older adults, home economics and health and safety education are left out. SB 173, which recently passed into law, would originally have amended Section 41975 to eliminate them, but by the time SB 173 passed, the amendment to Section 41975 had been removed. However, since all money for adult school mandated programs will come through the consortia after 2015, the four programs excluded by AB 86 are likely to lose their funding next year unless something is done to save them.
It is among the mandated programs that we find the educational services that most directly support the K-12 schools, and where adult schools managed to survive, it was usually because their districts recognized their value in this regard. Schools recognized that classes in parenting and English as a Second Language gave parents skills they need to support their children’s school success.
However, adult schools complement the K-12 schools in another way because they assure that adults who did not get the chance to complete their education as children have the chance to acquire the skills they would have learned in the K-12 schools. Elementary and secondary basic skills programs provide the equivalent of an elementary and high school education for adults, and English as a Second Language classes also provide basic literacy skills in English for immigrants. Through adult schools, the state fulfills its commitment to a basic education for all Californians, a commitment which, for a variety of reasons, cannot always be met by the K-12 schools.
The acquisition of basic skills by adult learners also supports the success of children in the district, because many of the adults who complete basic skills programs are also parents. Parents who complete their elementary or secondary educations in adult school serve as models for their children and also pick up skills that allow them to help their children in school.
The only extant plan for continued funding for adult school mandated programs after July 2015 is a sketchy proposal by Governor Brown to fund them through the consortia, with all money for the consortia coming through the Community College Chancellor’s Office. This model raises many as yet unanswered questions about what the relationship of adult schools to their K-12 districts would be under this model. Adult school teachers who go to work every day on K-12 campuses or in buildings owned by the K-12 district (as all adult school buildings are) wonder if they will be reporting to work at the same location after 2015. They wonder who will sign their paychecks: will it still be the superintendent for their school district, or will the check be signed by someone at the community college? Will they be considered school district or community college employees?
Such questions are mostly unspoken, as teachers are encouraged not to think about them and just trust the AB 86 process. But questions that mirror those of teachers must be occurring to school districts as well. What will the relationship of the adult school to the school district be? How much control will the district have over the adult school? Who will be in charge of resolving conflicts that might arise? Unless these questions are addressed, there is a danger that the relationship between adult schools and their districts, already made shaky by categorical flexibility and its aftermath, might be further damaged. Policymakers who will be shaping the future of adult schools during the first half of 2015 need to look carefully at ways to make sure adult schools can continue their crucial role of complementing and supporting K-12 schools. Dedicated funding for adult schools that comes through school district budgets would be a key component of any plan to preserve adult school support for the K-12 mission.
The Need for Adult Literacy Services in California
In California Education Code Section 84757, the same 10 programs enumerated in Section 41975 as eligible for adult school funding are enumerated as eligible for noncredit community college funding. The language of the two code sections is exactly the same; it can be viewed here:
The fact that California Education Code establishes these programs as eligible for state funding for both adult schools and community colleges indicates that they were, at least at one time, significant state priorities. It is likely that the legislature intended local agencies to have some flexibility in deciding whether adult schools, community colleges, or both, should provide the designated services.
The following statistics are found on page 16 of a report prepared for the California Department of Education by WestEd in 2009 entitled “Adult Education in California: Strategic Planning Process Needs Assessment”:
  •  In 2009 about 5.3 million adult Californians lacked a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate.
  • About half of those 5.3 million adults, over 2.5 million, had educational attainments at below the 9th grade level.
 The 2012 LAO Report noted, on page 10:
  •  In 2009 adult schools and community colleges together served about 1.5 million students.
 The population of the state has grown significantly since 2009, so the number of adults needing literacy services has almost certainly grown proportionally.
Adult schools have  shrunk since 2009; adult school programs were cut continually, and decreased in size yearly, from 2008 to 2013, when the Maintenance of Effort mandate temporarily stabilized their funding.
Community colleges, and noncredit programs in particular, have not grown significantly since 2009; they are just beginning to recover from the effects of the great recession.
Adults with low levels of literacy are exactly the students both adult school mandated programs and community college noncredit programs were designed to serve. With more than five million people in need of these services, the efforts of both adult school mandated programs and community college noncredit programs are sorely needed, and both must be significantly expanded, if the educational needs of California’s adults are to be adequately met.
In the next installment of this series, we will look at how community colleges and adult schools currently divide the work of educating the state’s adults.

Monday, November 24, 2014

CCAE's sample letter to Gov. Brown

November XX, 2014
The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Saving K-12 Based Adult Education
Dear Governor:
On behalf of the signatories of this letter, we wish to convey our strong support for ensuring stability for K-12 based adult education in California by providing stable, dedicated resources to K-12 adult schools based on the regional plans they’ve developed under AB 86.  In our community….
-        # served, types of programs, # of locations/sites
-        Information on partnerships
-        Information on outcomes (community-beneficial outcomes)
-        Expand on info relative to K-12 based Adult Education in your community/region
Since 2010, over 30 K-12 based adult schools have closed statewide and over 40 have had their budgets cut by more than 50%. At its peak in 2005, nearly 1.4 million Californians were enrolled in K-12 based Adult Education programs statewide including English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship, High School Diploma/GED and basic skills, workforce and career technical training and more.  These educational programs play an integral role in providing the means and opportunity for these students to prepare themselves for successful entry into the workforce and as participating members of their communities.
With the intense focus on year-over-year budget shortfalls for California education, the very real economic benefits derived from the state’s public investment in K-12 based Adult Education and workforce development programs have been overlooked and decimated. Numerous studies have shown that even, in difficult economic times, a preemptive focus on Adult Education actually saves governments money by reducing healthcare, public assistance and incarceration costs. It also improves and expands the nation’s available pool of human capital by helping motivated but under educated people achieve gainful employment in today’s increasingly high-tech and global job market. K-12 based Adult Education and Career Technical training are one of the most cost-effective tools in the state, with infrastructure and capacity currently in place to meet the need.
While we support the effort for systems serving adults to coordinate and collaborate regionally, we are highly concerned about elimination of access for those most in need.  The bottom line is that K-12 based Adult Education is too important to allow it to be eliminated.  While we can appreciate the difficulties school districts have faced in recent years and the interest in a more coordinated adult education system, the success of K-12 students depends on the success and engagement of their parents and community. In many districts, K-12 students’ parents are the ones relying on the K-12 Adult Education programs the most.
Adult Education is an investment in the future of our community, state and our families, as research shows that better educated parents raise better educated, more successful children, who are less likely to end up in poverty or prison. We strongly urge your Administration to provide stability for K-12 based Adult Education through adequate, dedicated funding in the January 2015 FY 15-16 budget proposal. Stability and clarity for school districts to plan their budgets around will help to ensure regional needs are met and will help ensure pathways continue to be developed locally around the State with community college and Workforce Investment Board partners.
We look forward to working with you to accomplish this goal and develop a framework that maintains your desire for local decision making and control under the AB 86 process, assures K-12 based access for adult learners, provides a sufficient level of dedicated funding, and above all else ensures successful outcomes for adult learners. If you have any questions or would like to discuss these issues further, please contact Dawn Koepke with McHugh, Koepke & Associates at (916) 930-1993. Thank you!
No signatures necessary, just names and titles below and logos at the top of the letter
Xxxx Xxxxx
</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;margin-left: -27pt;margin-right: -31pt;"> <span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;margin-left: -27pt;margin-right: -31pt;"> <span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;"> </span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;margin-left: -27pt;margin-right: -31pt;"> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">Cc:</span><span style="font-size:13px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span></span><span style="font-size:13px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA)</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">California Council of Adult Education (CCAE)</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in -31.5pt 0.0001pt 0in;"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-56b0a9fa-e436-3b3a-0410-d94a50dc2b66"><br></span></p> </div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in -31.5pt 0.0001pt -27pt;"> <p> <font data-blogger-escaped-style="background: yellow; font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-highlight: yellow;"><!--data-blogger-escaped-<title></span><span style="font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif""><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in -31.5pt 0.0001pt -27pt;"> <span style="font-family:"Arial","sans-serif""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in -31.5pt 0.0001pt -27pt;"> <span style="font-family:"Arial","sans-serif""> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in -31.5pt 0.0001pt -27pt;"> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"">Cc:    California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA)</span><span style="font-family:"Arial","sans-serif""><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in -31.5pt 0.0001pt 0in; text-align: justify;"> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"">California Council of Adult Education (CCAE)<o:p></o:p></span></p> -->

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Newsletter from Adult Education Advocates in the Montebello Community



A Newsletter on Adult Education in California
October 2014


With significant amendments, Senator Carol Liu’s SB 173 passed the legislature and was approved by Governor Brown. As amended, its provisions add to the factors applicable to the present AB 86 work, calling for the following:

• Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) and the state Chancellor’s Office (CO)
to issue assessment and policy guidelines to be used for purposes of student placement in adult

• Requires CDE and CO to issue policy recommendations to the legislature regarding a comprehensive accountability system for adult education.

• Requires CDE and CO to issue recommendations on adult education fees.

• Requires the CO, in conjunction with CDE, to annually report on courses and student
enrollments in adult education, and report on deficits in course offerings based on needs
identified by adult education consortia.

• Requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the Academic Senate for California
Community Colleges to submit recommendations by July 1, 2016 on the reciprocity of adult
education instructors in K-12 districts and community colleges.

The good news is that with the enactment of SB 173, the legislature and Governor are affirming that the work of the adult education consortia is being taken seriously. SB 173 further affirms that a new adult education program will begin on July 1, 2015, and the continued work of the consortia will be needed to implement the AB 86 consortia plans. The added factor of the SB 173 accountability also will serve to inform state decision makers on the effectiveness of adult education!programs.

What to Do . . .


As 2015 approaches and the state legislature and governor begin their work, it becomes critical that all state legislators are aware of what is at stake for adult education and that they get information on your programs and your AB 86 consortium work. One approach to informing legislators will not be enough.

Versions of the following are needed: Visits to local offices; Invitations for legislators to see your
programs and participate in your events; and Letters from staffs and students.

The current reality in the state legislature is that an increasing percentage of members comes from families that are much like those of students in adult education. The new President Pro Tem of the State Senate, Kevin de Leon, in his inaugural speech, praised his mother for overcoming significant barriers in raising her family. The support is there in the legislature, but members need the information to become fellow advocates for adult education.

Developed by Adult Education Advocates in the Montebello Community

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The History of AB 86

Assembly Bill 86 was introduced on January 10, 2013 (

The same day that Governor Brown announced his plan to shift adult education to the community college system:
(see page 23)

"The governor’s budget proposal in January 2013 suggested housing all adult education in the community colleges. This met resistance from the adult education community, leading the governor, in his May Revision, to propose a new “regional consortia” system patterned on the LAO recommendation and now embodied in two pieces of legislation passed in July."

"Public outcry was huge in 2012 when Gov. Jerry Brown proposed shifting all adult education programs to community colleges within two years. Protest from faculty prompted the governor to relent. In a compromise move, he endorsed AB 86." 

"Brown relented as part of a budget compromise, deciding instead that districts must keep their adult education programs afloat for the next two years while working with their local community colleges on a plan to streamline the courses by developing regional consortia to oversee the programs." 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Governor’s Budget Summary – 2013-14

Adult Education and Apprenticeship Realignment

Currently, K‑12 school districts and community colleges are authorized to provide adult
education instruction. However, there is no statewide requirement or mechanism to
coordinate the efforts of these two systems. As a result, the state has an inefficient
and redundant system that is not always structured in the best interest of adult learners.
Further, funding for the K‑12 adult education program is currently flexible, available for any
educational purpose, and many districts are eliminating their programs and redirecting this
funding to support their core instructional programs.

To create a more accountable and centralized adult education learning structure,
the Budget proposes $315.7 million Proposition 98 General Fund to fund a comparable
K‑12 adult education service delivery system. It proposes an increase of $300 million
to support the program within the community colleges. It also shifts $15.7 million for
the Apprenticeship Program. The proposal eliminates the current bifurcated system and
places the community colleges in a position to improve coordination at the regional and
statewide levels. Community colleges are better positioned than K‑12 schools to address
the needs of adult learners because that is their core function. Funding will be allocated
from a new adult education block grant based on the number of students served, and the
colleges will be encouraged to leverage the capacity and expertise currently available at
the K‑12 district adult schools. Additional detail on this proposal is discussed in the Higher
Education Chapter.Governor’s Budget Summary – 2013-14

Thursday, October 9, 2014

September Newsletter from Adult Education Advocates in the Montebello Community

C  A  L  I  F  O  R  N  I  A
A Newsletter on Adult Education in California
September 2014
As the upcoming legislative session gets closer, major adult education issues are surfacing that require thoughtful analysis. The following are offered for initial review, and this is offered with the thought that others may also surface.

Level of 2015-16 Funding for Adult Education:
Prior to the 2009 flexibility authority, K-12 adult education received over $750 million that was restricted to the program. Since flexibility, about half of the funds have been swept for other district purposes. Now a critical question is what would be the right amount for 2015-16.

Seventy AB 86 regional adult education consortia are presently analyzing the need for adult education programs. The consortia work should result in a funding request in excess of any past amounts.  The AB 86 documents indicating statewide figures for adult education substantiates the need.  As examples, in California 7,322,792 adults lack a high school diploma and 15,728, 547 are classified as English learners. Assigning one adult education A.D.A. to each English learner would amount to over $37 billion.

2015-16 Funding from the State to the Local District:
Once an amount is determined, the next issue is how will the funds get to the local district. Should the funds go directly to the district or should they go to a consortium to be distributed to each district. K-12 adult education advocates prefer that the funds go straight to the district because of the following:
  • Avoids another level of bureaucracy
  • Keeps the adult education connected to the district and allows it to serve the needs of parents and credit recovery for high school students
  • Avoids conflicts with facility usage

Consortium Continuation, Parenting, Older Adults, and Closed Programs:
A number of other issues will need to be explored further within the context of a new adult education program.  Consortia participants need to analyze the consortia in terms of  how the work needs to continue with state support.  Districts and consortia need to advise on whether parenting and older adults programs have a future role in the program. Another topic that needs to be included is what should be done about district programs that were eliminated during flexibility.

WHAT TO DO? . . .
Visit your local legislators and their staffs, and also invite them to your programs. Inform them about your consortium activities and the great potential for increasing educational opportunities for adults.

Developed by Adult Education Advocates in the Montebello Community

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heed the Warning

This letter deems outsourcing to K-12 Adult Ed illegal and, once again, makes assertions that are untrue.

There are many reasons to support desigated funding for K-12 AE.  

This letter provides another one...

April 14, 2014
Coast Community College District
1370 Adams
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Dear Board of Trustees, Coast Administration, Faculty, Students, and the immediate community
served by the CCCD:

We, the chairs and co-chairs, of the English as a Second Language (ESL) departments of the three CCCD colleges, Coastline, Orange Coast College (OCC), and Golden West College (GWC), would like to reply to and address the concerns related to our departments in relation to the proposal to be discussed by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.  The proposal, “Community Services Considerations  and Recommendations,” outlines a plan to outsource all ESL courses more than two levels below English 100 to local K-12 Adult Education programs.  As we understand the Ed code policies, this proposal would be not only devastating to the second language students of the Coast District but would also be illegal:
SB 1456 (2012) Section 8/78213 a.3:  Assessment instruments shall  not be used to exclude students from  admission to community colleges.

While we  understand that it would be ideal to have students who place two levels below Freshman Composition (English 100) in order to guarantee higher numbers of students succeeding in Freshman Comp and/or other college-level classes, the reality is that the majority of second-language students need more levels of ESL:

Although international students may have a TOEFL score of 500, many still place below the desired two levels below English 100.  Additionally, students who come from intensive language schools with whom we have agreements also place below the two levels.

 Lastly, we have international students who have graduated from American (mostly private) high schools who face the same situation. International students would not want to spend years in intensive language schools, and their parents would not want to have to bear this expense. If this proposal were put into effect, our District would lose a substantial amount of revenue generated by international student fees.

Coastline receives from $79,000 to $100,000 per year (depending on enrollment) in Title II funds
to supplement their ESL courses. This funding is only available for beginning-level non-credit ESL courses. The college would not want to lose this funding.  District-wide FTES apportionment for ESL courses more than two levels below transfer also needs to be taken into consideration. Coastline, for example, earned 652 FTES for 2012-13. At $4,500 per FTES, this represents $2,934,000 in apportionment. The courses at Coastline’s highest level, two levels below transfer, would account for a very small portion of this income.Resident students (members of the community) rely on financial aid—which cannot be used for community education courses-- for their ESL courses. Financial aid used for ESL courses (up to 30 units) does not count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The District would not only be providing a disservice to these students but would also be missing out on a sorely needed source of revenue.

The California Academic Senate’s 2010 recommendation states that “Course reductions in
transfer, basic skills, or career technical education courses or programs should occur only after
collegial consultation with the local academic senate as defined in Title 5.” All the ESL courses in the CCCD fall under the Basic Skills category.

According to the Student Success Initiative, students who need remediation through basic skills
should have access to those courses, starting with their first year of college. The 110 unit cap on
transfer/degree units does not count basic skill or ESL units.  Clearly, much thought has been put into the above mentioned proposal. Nevertheless, it is imperative to check legalities regarding the Ed Code, as well as issues related to the ACCJC and other Accreditation issues. Faculty members who served on the committee charged with making recommendations for this project specified that it should not destroy any part of any existing academic program within the district. This recommendation was not honored. Above all, we need to provide a pedagogically sound program for ESL students in the district. The Huntington Beach Adult Education program, for example, receives a large portion of its funding from WIA Title II grants. Funding is based on pre-post test gains on the CASAS test, which assesses proficiency in “Life Skills” ESL (for shopping, banking, driving, and other functions needed for survival in the community). The ESL programs at OCC, GWC, and CCC focus on academic reading, writing, speaking, and note-taking skills needed for success in college.

The AB 86 task force is responsible for determining (over time, in a thoughtful way) the optimal
relationship between K-12 Adult Education ESL programs in our community and our college ESL
programs and the functions each should have in order to offer the best possible education for our
students. We respectfully request that you allow this process to go forward as planned.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss these matters with all of you.

Academic Senate Members
(I haven't included names here)



Contact for more info.