Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We Need Letters Now

Adult education matters.  It matters a lot.

And right now we are in danger of losing it.

Here's why:

The "Weighted Student Formula" is a proposal by Governor Brown to dissolve virtually all categorical programs and divide the resulting pot of money among K-12 school districts for use with k-12 students.

(Now might be a good time to re-read the earlier posts that explain how we got here and why it's a bad idea to pit different parts of California's educational system against each other.)

Adult education is a categorical program.  Funding for adult schools would disappear under WSF ("Weighted School Formula").

Next week Gov. Brown will announce the amount of money the state really has after the final April tax collections.  Based on that, he will offer adjustments to his budget proposal.

Then the legislators must create legislation to pass a budget.

Important:  They can follow Gov. Brown's proposal - or not.

Important:  If they follow his proposal, it's pretty much the end for adult schools.

So now what?

Find your legislators here:

Then write them a letter or email.

Tell them not to implement Gov. Brown's WSF as proposed. 

Adult education needs to have separate funding or at least be pulled from Gov. Brown's consolidation and remain a categorical program, by itself.

Is this confusing?


If you feel confused, go back and read the earlier posts that explain how we got here.

I will write a separate post (soon) with more details about the WSF.

In the meantime, get cracking on those letters and emails.

This is serious.  Real serious.

Tell your legislators how adult schools helps the community.  If you are a teacher at an adult school, tell them how the school helps and serves the community.  If you are student (or alumni), tell them how the school helped you and the community.  If you are a community member, tell them what it means to have a healthy, educated, English-speaking community adding skill, power and intellligence to the economy, civic life and school system. 

Tell them.

Tell them now.

Because if you don't, we're in real danger of losing that skill, power and intelligence.

And we're too smart to do that.



Last thing, here's a sample letter from CCAE (California Council of Adult Educators):

            May 7, 2012

        The Honorable Jerry Brown
       Governor, State of California
         State Capitol
S      Sacramento, CA 95814

        The Honorable Xxxx Xxxx                                               The Honorable Xxxx Xxxx
        California State Senate                                                   California State Assembly
        State Capitol, Room xxx                                                  State Capitol, Room xxx
       Sacramento, CA 95814                                                   Sacramento, CA 95814
        RE: Governor’s Weighted Student Formula Proposal – OPPOSE
        Dear Governor Brown and Honorable Members:
        As an administrator/educator/student/adult education supporter, I must
        respectfully and adamantly oppose the Governor’s FY 2012-13 budget proposal to
        consolidate all education categorical programs with complete local flexibility
        as part of the weighted student formula, specifically as it relates to adult education.
As you know, categorical programs such as adult education have experienced
severe cuts –  if not outright elimination – under the flexibility proposal enacted as
part of the FY 2008-2009 budget.  Previously, adult education served over 1.2 million
students in California in programs ranging from English as a Second Language
(ESL) and citizenship to GED and basic skills to workforce and career technical
training.  Since that time, we’ve seen countless schools across the state close
their doors on those who need their programs the most and many others
        across the state that face elimination at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. 

        The Governor’s current proposal permanently codifies this flexibility, thus
        eliminating support for adult education.  Going forward it would provide
         support to districts on a weighted basis for K-12 students only, thereby
        forcing the elimination of adult education in California.  This ultimately
        leaves adults in need of basic skills, GEDs, English as a Second Language
       (ESL) classes, and short-term career technical training without any options. 
        The populations most affected by this will be underserved and
        disadvantaged adults who are in desperate need of these services.  
         In utilizing adult education programs, they become contributing members
        of society and responsive and involved parents that translates into
        tremendous budgetary  savings in the child welfare and public
        safety arenas by lessening their involvement in child welfare services
        and decreasing the likelihood of committing crimes or reoffending. 

         The bottom line is that adult education is too important to allow it to
         be eliminated.  The success of K-12 students depends on the success
         and engagement of their parents and community. Furthermore,
         the consolidation of other K-12 categorical programs will fund
         supplemental services for students (K-12) who will always have
         a seat in a classroom. When adult schools close, however, there is
         no place for adult students to go for basic skills and programs –
         this leaves them further disenfranchised. Adult education
         is an investment in the future of our 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 you to remove adult education from
         categorical flexibility and the Governor’s categorical
        consolidation proposal and reinstitute it as its own stand
         alone education program. 


X      Xxxx Xxxx
        Address (Home)
        School/School District (as appropriate)

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