November XX, 2014
The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Saving K-12 Based Adult Education
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
Cc: California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA)
California Council of Adult Education (CCAE)