Thursday, April 9, 2015

Analysis of Assembly Bill 1112 (Lopez)



Date of Hearing: April 8, 2015

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
 Patrick O'Donnell, Chair
 AB 1112 (Lopez) – As Amended March 26, 2015
 [Note: This bill is doubled referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee and will be heard by that Committee as it relates to issues under its jurisdiction.]

SUBJECT: Adult education: consortia: parenting education: family literacy education 

SUMMARY: Authorizes adult programs, California Community Colleges (CCC) noncredit courses and classes, and the adult education regional consortia, established pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 84830, to provide family literacy education. Specifically, this bill

1) Expands parenting education provided by adult education programs administered by school districts and CCC noncredit courses to include family literacy education, which may include support to children and schoolaged youth with limited English proficiency backgrounds in the households of participating adults. 

2) Specifies that the grant funds provided to regional consortia to create and implement adult education plans shall include parenting education, including, but not necessarily limited to, parent cooperative preschools and classes in child growth and development and parent-child relations, and family literacy education, which may include support to children and schoolaged youth with limited English proficiency backgrounds in the households of participating adults. 

EXISTING LAW

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 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. 

3) Prohibits state apportionment to be made for any course or class not specified in law. 

4) 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. 

5) 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. 

6) Charges the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) and the California Department of Education (CDE) to jointly implement an adult education planning process; authorizes the CCCCO and the CDE to distribute $25 million to regional consortia to develop plans with the shared goal of better serving the educational needs of California's adult learners; and, specifies that the following five areas are to be addressed in the plans: 

a) Elementary and secondary basic skills, including classes required for a high school diploma. 
b) Classes and courses for immigrants in English as a second language, citizenship, and workforce preparations. 
c) Education programs for adults with disabilities. 
d) Short-term career technical education programs with high employment potential. 
e) Programs for apprentices. 

FISCAL EFFECT: The Legislative Counsel has keyed this bill as a state-mandated local program. 

COMMENTS: Background. Adult education in California is part of a large, complex, and diverse multi-provider system. It is a vital and integral part of the larger educational system that provides adults with the skills and education that enable them to earn a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certificate, become United States citizens, acquire specific job skills, learn English, and/or become independent and productive parents and members of their community. Adult education is provided by a number of delivery systems, but the two main providers are school districts and the CCCs. 

In 2008-09, K-12 adult education programs enrolled 1.2 million adult learners in almost 300 adult schools throughout California. The 2012-13 budget allocated $635 million for the adult education categorical program. 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. 

Due to budget problems, from the 2008-09 through 2014-15 fiscal years, local educational agencies (LEAs) were allowed to use approximately 40 categorical programs funds for any educational purposes. According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, schools districts diverted between 50 to 60% of the adult education program funds for other general fund uses. 

In 2013, the Governor proposed and the Legislature passed a new K-12 funding system that replaced revenue limits with a new base grant – the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). LCFF incorporated most categorical program funds into the base grant and eliminated the categorical programs. School districts choosing to continue their adult education programs would do so using their base funds. AB 86 Regional Consortia. Also in 2013, the budget provided $25 million for the development of regional consortia comprised of CCC and K-12 school districts for the purpose of creating plans to integrate existing programs and determine how best to serve adult students within regions throughout the state (AB 86 (Budget Committee), Chapter 48, Statutes of 2013). AB 86 specified that the plans developed by the regional consortia shall only include the provision of the following programs: 

1) Elementary and secondary basic skills (GED); 
2) Classes and courses for immigrants (citizenship, English as a second language); 
3) Education programs for adults with disabilities; 
4) Short-term career technical education programs; and, 
5) Programs for apprentices. 

Excluded are four programs that are authorized to be offered through adult schools, including 1) parenting education; 2) programs for older adults; 3) home economics; and 4) health and safety programs. The Governor's 2015-16 budget proposes to allocate $500 million for the adult education block grant, which will be used to fund the programs included in the AB 86 regional consortia plans. This bill adds parenting education to the courses to be offered through the regional consortia plans and expands parenting education to include family literacy education, with special focus on support for adults with children and schoolaged youth with limited English proficiency. The bill also expands parenting education programs previously offered through adult education categorical funds and noncredit adult education courses offered by CCCs to include family literacy education. 

What is family literacy education? According to the author, this bill is modeled after family literacy programs provided by federal Workforce Investment Act, Title II funding and through the California's Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) programs. The goal of these programs is not only to provide English instruction to parents, but also to provide parents with the skills that will enable them to assist their children do better in school, especially children with limited English proficiency. For example, the CBET program, which was previously a $40 million categorical program, may teach parents how to help their children with reading, writing, listening, speaking, study skills, homework and effective parenting technique (source: San Bernardino Adult School). Parents must agree to read to their children, help their children with homework and talk with their children about school. A 2011 report by the CDE titled "Linking Adults to Opportunity" stated that "two years of data analysis showed significant improvement among the children whose parents participated in these Adult Education programs. In the Oakland Unified School District, children of CBET parents averaged 19 percent gain on the California English Language Development Test." 

Budget trailer bill. In order to expand the programs funded through the regional consortia, the budget trailer bill that will implement the $500 million for the proposal adult education block grant will have to include parent education and family literacy. The author may wish to consider making this request through the budget process. 

Arguments in support. The author states, "Due to the elimination of the parent education spending categories, parents no longer have access to family literacy education and the CBET programs through adult education. This bill looks to reinstate parent education as an eligible funding category as studies have shown that children whose parents participated in these programs showed academic improvement." 

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION

Support 

None on file 

Opposition 

None on file 

Analysis Prepared by: Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087


Thank you, Assemblywoman Lopez!
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR AB112!

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