C A L I F O R N I A
A Newsletter on Adult Education in California
DELIBERATIONS ON ADULT EDUCATION TRIGGER MAJOR ISSUES:
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