Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Things Work - Part One

How education is paid for - especially adult education - is complicated and confusing.

It is more confusing because things have changed in recent years.

One thing that hasn't changed:

All adult schools are tied to a district - either a high school district or a community college district.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

The San Mateo Adult School is tied to the San Mateo Unified High School District. We are very lucky. This district is outstanding in many, many ways. It is a strong district with excellent leadership and a wonderful, supportive community. The district has made some very forward-thinking decisions - such as going solar to save money on electricity.

The district understands and supports the mission of the Adult School to serve the community - helping young adults through the GED and High School Diploma programs, helping parents of school-age children increase English and job skills, helping seniors stay mentally and physically healthy, helping adult immigrants of all ages learn English, become citizens, and engage in the community, and providing an array of vocational education courses to adults of all ages and backgrounds.

In San Francisco, adult education is tied to the community college district - City College of San Francisco. The ESL program has two levels - credit and non-credit. The credit classes are like the ESL classes at College of San Mateo. The non-credit ESL classes are like the classes at the San Mateo Adult School.

Most adult schools are tied to high school districts. Some examples locally are the Sequoia Adult School in Redwood City, and the South San Francisco Adult School in South San Francisco, and Jefferson Adult School in Daly City.

In Los Angeles, the adult school is tied to the high school district. Right now that district is in trouble. They are struggling financially. They are looking at making many cuts unless things change drastically for the better. As of today, March 14th, 2012, they are looking at cuts like this, which include completely closing their adult school program.

What can we do about cuts like this?

And how did we get into this situation?

We'll take those questions point by point in the posts to come.

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