Saturday, May 25, 2013

Momentum for Good: Be Part of It

Our job: Keep telling our Legislators what we need. Their job: Keep listening and creating policy that will meet our needs. Right now we're both working hard at our jobs and that's creating momentum for good. 

Below is a new budget plan from the Assembly Budget Subcommittee.  Discussions and voting still have to happen.  And whatever the Legislature finally agrees on, Brown can veto specific items.

But the fact the Assembly Budget Subcommittee has come up with this plan is huge and good.

A year ago, we were pushing against a momentum to destroy Adult Education.

Now we are part of a momentum to rebuild it.  Big difference.

Here's the news with my comments in italics and suggested action steps at end.

Hit the "Read More" link to get the news and find out what you can do to keep the momentum going - and growing!

Assembly Budget Subcommittee Adopts Alternative Plan to the Governor's Local Control Funding Formula

(From: School Services of California, Inc. Copyright (c) Volume 33, No. 11)


 Thursday, May 23, 2013, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance unveiled and adopted its Proposition 98 funding package for K-12 schools and community colleges, providing a first look at an Assembly alternative to the elements of the Governor's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The Assembly alternative would provide some dramatic increases in funding for many school districts compared with the LCFF May Revision proposal. Following are key principles
adopted by the Subcommittee that shape the Assembly's alternative:

  *   Additional Investment in Low-Income Children-Increases in other areas of the State Budget, including child development CalWORKS assistance for families in poverty, are essential for targeted education funds to provide the benefit intended for English learners and students from low-income families.

  *   Base Grant Target-Establish a base grant target to achieve the goal of providing average per-pupil spending at the national average of other states. Adjust the base grant with a "Fixed-Costs" add-on to include the value of existing general-purpose categorical programs, such as instructional materials and professional development.

  *   Economic Recovery Target-Set an "Economic Recovery Target" for all schools to restore the revenue limit deficit factor funding, including foregone inflation adjustments, and the 20% reduction in funding for categorical programs.

  *   Supplemental and Concentration Grants-Provide an unspecified level of additional funding for English learners, students from low-income families, and foster youth, using a duplicated count, and based on weights that reflect " . . . the best available research" that identifies the unique costs associated with helping these students become academically successful.

  *   Expenditure Accountability-Require supplemental funding to be spent on services for the students that generate the funding.

 *   Exclude Additional Programs- In addition to the programs the Governor's LCFF excludes from the funding formula, also exclude Foster Youth Services, Adults in Correctional Facilities, Apprenticeship, and Adult Education.

(That's us - Adult Education.  That means Adult Education would no longer be the blood donor for K12.  It would be separated out.)

The Subcommittee achieves these goals by adopting the higher revenue forecasts of the Legislative Analyst that, if correct, provide over two years more than $3 billion of additional funding through the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee (see"Legislative Analyst's Overview of the
Governor's May Revision  "< ID=18746> in the current Fiscal Report).  The additional Proposition 98 revenues would increase resources for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation from the May Revision's $1 billion to $1.5 billion, and LCFF implementation funding would increase to $3.6 billion, compared
with a May Revision total of $1.9 billion. The proposal would also increase funding allotted to categorical programs by more than $190 million.

The Subcommittee also approved a significantly different Adult Education proposal: the Subcommittee pulls adult education funding out of the LCFF and provides that in 2013-14 local educational agency's receiving adult education funding will continue to receive the same level of funding and requires they maintain the same 2012-13 spending level for those programs. Beginning in 2014-15, adult education program and funding requirements are restored, bringing the program back to its pre-flex program and funding requirements.

That's us, again.  Adult Schools would not be part of LCFF.  And they would receive the same amount of money in 2013-14 as long as they keep spending the same amount on Adult Ed that they did in 12-13.  And then, beginning in 14-15, programs and funding requirements  would be restored to the levels they were before flexibility hit.  That is huge and good.

Friday, the Senate took up Senate Bill 69, its version of the LCFF.

The amended version of the bill will be in print in time for the hearing. Stay tuned!

-Michael Ricketts and Michelle McKay Underwood

"Stay tuned" - that sounds like vegging out to television, right?

Like it's all in the hands of the legislators.

Wrong.  They represent us.  And they want and need to know what we think.

That's action step number one.

1.  Contact your legislators. 

Tell them how you want them to vote on this.  Including Gov. Brown's desire to stop funding Older Adults and Parent Education and Family Literacy programs.

Action step number two:

2.  Sign and comment and share the petition.

Use that tool to reach every single Legislator and the Governor - instantly!  Use the comment feature to share your views.  Sign, comment and share with others in your community.

Action step number three:

3.  Contact the Press

Are they covering Adult Education adequately in your community?  How is your local Adult School doing?  Has there been any press about the cuts and closures and the unmet needs, as a result?

Action step number four:

4.  Social Media.  Use it.  Share this blog or posts from A4CAS and COSAS and United Adult Students or videos on your Facebook stream.

Action step number five:

5.  Talk to your friends and family.  Make sure they understand what is happening.  Do they realize how many kids in California have a foreign-born parent who may need ESL and Family Literacy in order to adequately support their children in school?  Do they know the high school drop out rate?  Do they realize there may be no more Older Adults programs if Gov. Brown goes through with his new plan for Adult Education? 

Action step number 6:

6.  Let the joy of working with others for good energize and sustain you.

There are many of us working on this... in and our of the Capitol building, in and out of schools, in big cities and small towns, on the coast, in the mountains, in the inland valleys, north, south, and parts between. 

We are working together, creating a great momentum for good.

Be part of it.


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