The State Legislature has approved the budget (and on time!).
What does that mean?
It means we have to keep working.
I know. It's been a lot of work already.
Sometimes good things take work. A lot of it.
From Dawn Koepke, here's some good news:
"Importantly, the Legislature has opted to reject the Governor’s Weighted Student Formula (WSF) for the foreseeable future... "
And some bad news:
"but fails thus far to address the decimation imposed on adult education under categorical flexibility."
In other words, with our grassroots efforts and the work of organizations like CCAE, we've succeeded in the "No on WSF" part of the goal.
We still have work to do on the "Flex is hex" part.
We can get rid of flex altogether if we can get a dedicated funding stream. That's a real and important goal.
In the meantime, we have to make sure the initiatives to increase revenue pass.
From CCAE's June Report,
"Adult Educators statewide should do whatever they can to assure passage of the initiatives. The extra revenues to local school districts will lessen the pressures on local budget cuts, and Adult Education programs. The Secretary of State’s office is currently certifying signatures to qualify these two initiatives for the November ballot. The Governor’s initiative proposes to raise $9 billion to meet state and education needs, while Munger’s initiative proposes to raise $10 billion that would be earmarked for education."
If the initiatives don't pass, trigger cuts will hit education - all branches of it - hard.
For an excellent and detailed look at what is happening in the State Legislature where Adult Ed is concerned, read Dawn Koepke's report.
Here's a simple "To Do" list to help you cope:
1. Visit the CCAE website. Click on "Join the Fight" to receive updates, including information about emailing the State Legislature when that is called for. The California Council for Adult Education is working hard to make sure Legislators remember Adult Education is part of the picture and needs to stay part of it.
2. Join the CCAE. There's a membership and the price is great. What's the reward? Well, besides some opportunities for health benefits, knowing you are helping to push for a place for Adult Education at the budgeting table now and in the future.
3. Vote YES on one or both of the initiatives that will increase revenue for education - Munger's Initiative - Our Children, Our Future or the Governor's Initiative - "Protect Our Schools and Public Safety" or, and I can't say this strongly enough, suffer the consequences. We're not talking hacking at just one leg of the chair that supports California's public education. We're talking picking up the chair and throwing it out the window.
Then looking out the window to see what's left.
It won't be pretty. I guarantee you.
4. If Adult Education has helped you, make a short video talking about it and post it on youtube. Tag it with Adult Ed Matters. Go to http://www.adulteducationmatters.com/ and submit your video. The fight is not over. We need to gather testimony that can help us ex-out the hex of flex and begin to work toward a dedicated funding stream.
In Dawn Koepke's words,
"From my perspective, the most important thing the field and our supporters can do at this point is to keep pushing, screaming and fighting. I can only imagine how frustrated and overwhelmed everyone is at this point, but we must remember that this battle isn’t a sprint to the finish – it’s a marathon. As such, it is critical that we keep the pressure on the Governor, Legislature and our local school boards. The moment we stop screaming and fighting is the moment when the battle is truly lost and it appears to these folks that adult education isn’t needed. I implore you all to keep fighting—it isn’t over and we’re still fighting in Sacramento. We need your voices to back us in the fight."
As she said, the work is tiring. People get tired, especially after the adreneline bursts that are called for during crisis times. Here at the San Mateo Adult School, we worked hard to pull together that rally and conference. All over the State, people worked hard to let the Legislature know "Adult Education Matters! No on WSF! A hex on flex!" We worked hard and it took its toll on us.
So rest up if you need to. Enjoy these long summer days. Read a book, ride a bike, drink a glass of lemonade.
Then get on that to-do list.