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Governor Appoints Stapf-Walters as Executive Director of SBE
Karen Stapf Walters, 55, of Sacramento, has been appointed education policy advisor to the Governor, and nominated executive director of the California State Board of Education. She has worked at the Association of California School Administrators as interim executive director since 2012, assistant executive director of governmental relations since 2003 and was an advocate from 1999 to 2003. Stapf Walters was director of the Education Seminar Programs for the Institute for Fiduciary Education from 1996 to 1998. She was a California Senate Fellow for State Senator Lucy Killea from 1990 to 1991 and continued to serve the Senator as a committee consultant and senior staff from 1991 until 1996. She earned a social studies teaching credential and taught social studies and English in both middle and high schools in California and Ohio from 1979 to 1990. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Stapf Walters is a Democrat.
Over the coming months, legislative budget committees will be meeting to discuss the Governor's budget proposal and determine if changes need to be made to address legislative priorities and concerns. In this regard, the first two overview hearings on education have been scheduled by the Senate Budget Committee for mid-February. Because these hearings will be merely an opportunity to hear from the Administration on their education plan from a high level perspective, we do not at this time believe it is critical for the field to engage and attend. That said, as the budget subcommittees begin to meet and discuss the specifics it is very likely we will call upon the adult education field to attend and speak up regarding the Governor's plan to move adult education to the community college system. In the meantime, please know that I, as your legislative advocate, will attend and provide brief comment as allowable at both overview hearings. I will be sure to follow-up once the subcommittee meetings are scheduled for a deeper dive on the issues.
Thursday, February 14th 9:30 a.m. State Capitol, Room 4203 Senate Hearing - Overview of 2013-14 Higher Education Budget
Thursday, February 28th 9:30 a.m. State Capitol, Room 4203 Senate Hearing - Overview of the 2013-14 K-12 Education Budget
To monitor the hearings on your computer, please see http://senate.ca.gov/todaysevents the day of the hearing.
Finding Clarity & Pushing Advocacy - Governor's Education Finance Reform Proposal
As more information become available regarding the Governor's education finance reform proposal, many education stakeholders are left with more questions than answers. Less than two weeks in from the release of the budget plan, confusion seems to be commonplace. Nevertheless, as I indicated in my last update, I believe the Governor's proposal provides a great starting point for moving adult education forward. Unlike the past five years, we are not in a position of having to impose additional cuts to education that would undoubtedly continue to erode adult education programs statewide. Further, unlike the Governor's proposal last year that ignored the needs of our adult learner population, he has proposed maintaining adult education programs in to the future. And as if that weren't enough, he provided dedicated revenue to support the programs.
Now of course the details of the proposal that would push the responsibility of adult education to the community college system and provide only $300 million versus the $650 million that we were allocated prior to flexibility aren't ideal, they are a starting point and a much better one for long-term viability. As was the case during the Weighted Student Formula (WSF) discussions of last year, the Legislature is continuing to push the Administration to put their "Local Control Funding Formula" and other education reforms in to a policy bill versus a trailer bill (budget). This is critically important to ensuring that the proposals are fully vetted and that we have the opportunity to have our voices heard on the proposals. A few members critical to moving such reforms forward have even suggested that reforms at the level the Governor has proposed are more of a two-year endeavor. Whether or not this plays out over two years or just this year, the bottom line is that we have time to work out the details and ensure the proposal put forth is one that is workable and accessible to the students we serve.
At this point, what we know about the Governor's proposal is as follows:
- Local Control Funding Formula (formerly called the "Weighted Student Formula") - aims to increase local control, reduce state bureaucracy, reduce inequities, reflect student needs, transparency
- Base Grant; Supplemental Grant (weighted); Concentration Grant (weighted); Augmentation to Base Grant (K-3 CSR; CTE 9-12); Add-ons to Formula (Transportation; TIIG); Separately Funded Programs (Federally-Funded Programs; QEIA; Special Education; After School Ed & Safety; Child Nutrition; Preschool); Hold-Harmless and Transition
- 7 Year Phase-In
- Adult Education would be the responsibility of the community college system and funded by a $300 million new Adult Education Block Grant (new revenue); the program would no longer be separately funded under K-12 - all current AE funds would be swept and could be used flexibly by the district, as such, a K-12 district could opt to continue its AE program or could be in a position to have the community college system contract with the K-12 system to provide adult education.
- While provided $300 million to fund Adult Education through the Community College system, the funds would be allocated based on the number of students served and only for core instructional areas (vocational education, ESL, elementary and secondary education, and citizenship); funding levels would be reassessed in the future based on program participation - an incentive measure by the Administration to leverage the community college system to provide and expand these programs.
In an effort to ensure we are all on the same page as you engage locally with your newly elected legislators, CAEAA and CCAE have prepared some talking points (below) to begin the discussions. In addition to sharing these talking points with the field, CAEAA and CCAE's leadership will be meeting in Sacramento next week over two days with key elected officials and stakeholders to discuss adult education's future and the Governor's reform proposals. Stay tuned for updates on these important meetings....
Governor's Proposal for Adult Education - A Good Starting Point (Talking Points)
- The California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA) and California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) commend Governor Brown for his proposal to save adult education programs and providing dedicated revenue to fund the program.
- This proposal is a good starting point to move adult education forward and out of the tenuous circumstances it has found itself in as a result of categorical flexibility since 2008. Such flexibility has decimated adult education programs that once served over 1.5 million students statewide, largely through the K-12 system. The Governor's proposal recognizes the detrimental effects of such flexibility and has suggested adult education be pulled out of categorical flexibility going forward to ensure the programs aren't further decimated.
- Further, the Governor provides $300 million in new revenue to support adult education programs specifically. This dedicated funding - while less than half of the $650 million allocated to adult education prior to categorical flexibility - is a good starting point. With the addition of federal funds derived for adult education programs, this amount is a good starting point to ensure the highly successful adult education programs can continue to provide programming and services for students in need of basic skills.
- Adult education students are often faced with intergenerational inequalities in education and economics. Further, they are often lacking in the transfer of important non-cognitive skills that are often pervasive from generation to generation. Adult education programs help bridge the gap of education and economic inequality by providing basic skills, GEDs and high school diplomas, English for non-native speakers and citizenship classes, vocational education/workforce training, and more.
- Adult education also provides intervention opportunities for at-risk high school students, credit recovery, dropout prevention and dropout recovery. Adult education tied to the K-12 system is best suited for such intervention.
- As the debate heats up around immigration reform, adult education tied to the K-12 system is prepared and has the capacity to handle the influx of people needing basic education, English literacy and citizenship preparation. With the Governor's strong stance on needing to move reforms forward and being part of the effort, now more than ever the K-12 system should be bolstered to meet the needs of a growing population of students they are already experienced with helping.
- Importantly, there is logic and rationale in the placement of adult education under the K-12 system rather than with the community college system. Specifically, the most marginalized and in-need adult education students are often the parents of K-12 students. As such, access to programs is critical and the best access is more often than not tied to the K-12 schools. Further, the K-12 system has expertise in basic skills, lower literacy instruction, and more at community-based locations that ensures access to those most in need.
- Moving adult education away from a system (K-12) that is working and inventing/initiating a delivery system that doesn't already exist is fiscally irresponsible. Not only would the start-up costs take away from the availability of programs at the community college level, the K-12 system is a more cost effective delivery model.
- The mere age of the student shouldn't dictate the delivery system for adult education programs. Rather, it should be based on the needs of and access for the population to be served. Moving adult education to the community college system doesn't meet this standard, proven by the Student Success Taskforce that has proposed moving community colleges systemically away from adult education students. Additionally, research shows students who are "referred to remediation" in the community college system never get out; whereas students arriving to community colleges "prepared" for post-secondary achieve at much higher rates - adult education under the K-12 system serves to bridge the skills gap and avoid such remediation.
- Ultimately, there is logic in both systems providing some semblance of adult education - a fact highlighted by the recent Legislative Analyst (LAO) report that acknowledges the strong points of both systems. The need to educate locally through the existing infrastructure of the adult schools throughout the state should be considered and addressed in the Governor's proposal.
Do you have additional talking points or feedback from a meeting with a legislator or staff member that would be helpful to CAEAA and CCAE's efforts? Please share them with us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be updating our talking points as we move forward to ensure that we are addressing the points most salient to the member and/or staff we are speaking with in and around the Capitol. Give us your feedback today!