Friday, January 9, 2015

Governor Brown's Proposed Budget for 2015-16

Adult Education

Historically, K‑12 school districts and community colleges have provided adult
education instruction. However, there was not effective coordination in all jurisdictions
and regional workforce needs were not a focus. As a result, the state has an inefficient
and in some places redundant system that is not always structured to best meet the
needs of adult learners. Strengthening the link between the state’s education and
workforce systems is crucial to California’s growing economy.

The 2013 Budget Act provided $25 million Proposition 98 General Fund for two‑year
planning grants to consortia of community college districts and school districts in
70 regions. The planning builds upon the adult education infrastructure in schools and
community colleges. In 2013‑14 and 2014‑15, K‑12 districts also have been required to
maintain the 2012‑13 level of spending for adult education and career technical education
(CTE) programs from funds received through the Local Control Funding Formula.

The Budget provides $500 million Proposition 98 General Fund for the Adult Education
Block Grant, which is an integral component of the state’s workforce development
strategy, as discussed in the Investing in California’s Workforce Chapter. The block
grant will fund programs in elementary and secondary basic skills, classes and courses
in citizenship and English as a second language for immigrants, education programs
for adults with disabilities, short‑term CTE programs linked to occupations with high
employment potential, and programs for apprentices. To be successful, it is imperative
that these programs be well aligned with the economic needs of each region, and that
they provide clear pathways to in‑demand jobs, as determined by regional labor
market information. The program will promote ongoing collaboration amongst different
providers and with entities that serve the populations that benefit from adult education;
namely, workforce investment boards, social services departments, and correctional
rehabilitation agencies.

In order for adult education programs to be well coordinated and linked with the
economic needs of their region, the Administration proposes that each consortium
designate an allocation board responsible for planning and allocating block grant funds.
Each consortium will form an allocation committee consisting of seven members
who represent community colleges, K‑12 districts, other adult education providers,
local workforce investment boards, county social services departments, correctional
rehabilitation programs, and one public member with relevant expertise. Each allocation
committee will coordinate with regional partners to ensure various adult education
funding streams are integrated, such as block grant funds, other K‑12 and community
college resources, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allocations, and other
federal funds. Each allocation committee will determine how to allocate block grant
funds for direct instruction, support services, and administration of its consortium (which
will be capped at 5 percent). Each consortium will report annually to the Chancellor
and Superintendent on progress towards fulfilling its adult education plan using all
resources available. These reports will inform distribution of block grant funds in
the future.

The Chancellor of the Community Colleges and the Superintendent of Public Instruction
will jointly approve allocations of funds, with an emphasis on providing funding to those
regions with the greatest adult education needs. Funding allocations approved by the
Chancellor and Superintendent will be distributed to providers as determined by their
allocation committees. In the initial year, to ease the transition, funding will be provided
directly to K‑12 school districts in the amount of the K‑12 districts’ maintenance of effort
for adult education—as jointly determined by the Chancellor and the Superintendent.
Further allocations will be distributed according to the local allocation committees.
A final report from the two‑year planning process will be provided by March 1, 2015.
This report will inform the accountability framework for delivery of adult education and
remaining policy decisions, such as how fees are charged for similar programs delivered
by different providers.

Career Technical Education

High‑quality CTE programs provide students, particularly those at risk for dropping out,
with valuable career and college readiness skills, and are a critical piece to the overall
workforce investment strategy of the Administration, as discussed in more detail in the
Investing in California’s Workforce Chapter. Prior to the adoption of the Local Control
Funding Formula, the state provided more than $500 million annually to support a
collection of CTE categorical programs, most notably the Regional Occupational Centers
and Programs (ROCPs). The 2013 Budget Act collapsed almost all of this previous
categorical funding into the Local Control Funding Formula in the form of a 9‑12 grade
span adjustment, with requirements on districts in their Local Control and Accountability
Plans to describe how they intend to meet the career technical education needs of their
students consistent with state‑adopted standards. Additionally, the 2013 Budget Act
included a two‑year maintenance‑of‑effort requirement for local educational agencies to
maintain their existing levels of spending on ROCPs, providing them with additional time
to structure more long‑term service delivery arrangements. Further, both the 2013 and
2014 Budget Acts provided $250 million in one‑time Proposition 98 funding to support
the Career Pathways Trust Program, which provides one‑time competitive grants to
create innovative programs and partnerships linking rigorous academic standards to
career pathways in high‑need and high‑growth sectors of the economy.

Given the complexity and relatively resource intensive nature of starting and updating CTE
programs, the Budget proposes $250 million in one‑time Proposition 98 funding in each
of the next three years to support a transitional CTE Incentive Grant Program. Unlike the
existing Career Pathways Trust Program, school districts, county offices of education
and charter schools receiving funding from this new transitional program will be required
to provide a dollar‑for‑dollar match, and priority for these state funds will be given to
local educational agencies applying in partnership with other local educational agencies
to offer regional programs. To maintain eligibility for funding under the CTE Incentive
Grant Program, recipients will need to demonstrate positive results across a spectrum
of outcome measures, including high school graduation rates, CTE course completion
rates, pupils obtaining industry‑recognized credentials and certificates, the number of
pupils achieving gainful employment in relevant occupations, and the number of pupils
progressing to postsecondary education. This program is intended to accelerate the
development of new and expanded high‑quality CTE programs during the next three
years and provide opportunities for program growth.