Monday, October 15, 2012

At Risk: Adult Schools in California

EdSource has an excellent article, "At Risk:  Adult Schools in California."

Click and download to read the entire article.

Here's the opening overview:

Adult schools are facing the biggest threat to their existence since the first school was founded in California a century and a half ago.  An EdSource survey in October-November 2011 found that 23 of the state's 30 largest school districts had made major cuts to their adult education programs, including Anaheim Union High School District, which eliminated their 73-year-old program in 2010-11.

This spring, the Los Angeles Unified School District threatened to close its entire adult education program.  But in a tentative agreement with union negotiators reached on June 8, the district agreed to maintain the program, though at a much smaller level.

Adult education programs are an important strand in the state's safety net, offering community-based classes to some of the state's neediest adults ranging from the unemployed, the disabled, and the elderly to ex-offenders re-entering society and immigrants trying to learn English and become citizens.

In California, English as a Second Language (ESL) is by far the largest adult education program.  The second-largest is the GED/high school diploma program, followed by job training classes through career-technical programs.  In recent years, adult schools have served more than 1 million students annually, but there is no accurate count of how much enrollments have declined as a result of the state's budget crisis.

Click on the link above to read the full article.

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