Saturday, September 21, 2013

Flip the Switch: Sign the Petition

We've come a long way. 

We succeeded in stopping Gov. Brown's plan to move Adult Education out of the K12 Adult Schools, the provider of most Adult Education in California, and solely into the Community College system.

We've got a new system - the Regional Consortia system - in which K12 Adult Schools, Community Colleges - and the community - can work together to plan what kind of Adult Education will be taught to whom, by whom, region by region.

But - Adult Education, in particular K12 Adult School Adult Education - is still vulnerable.

Hit the "read more" link to know why.

While the letter from Superintendent Tom Torlakson and Chancellor Brice Harris indicates that there will be money coming:

"The intent of AB 86 is to better position California—via these consortia—for incremental investments starting with the 2015–16 fiscal year to expand and improve the provision of adult education."

there's no real teeth in that statement, no solid information about money for Adult Education, particularly the K12 Adult School system which has taken such horrendous hits in the past five years

and which continues to take hits - as we can see in what's happened at Riverside Adult School.

Looking carefully at the wording, we see the intent is not investments, the intent is better positioning for investments.

Meaning, I suppose, if the main providers of Adult Education - K12 Adult Schools and Community Colleges - work together in Regional Consortia, they will be in a better position, aka more likely, to receive money.

But it doesn't say they will receive money.  Just that they are in a better position to receive it.

And while there is 25 millions dollars to spend on planning, there is no real money to plan on spending.

It's hard to build a future on uncertainty.

Yes, I know.  Uncertainty is a truth we cannot escape.  But we do have the power to make things happen.  We certainly have the power - and the responsibility - to try.

Adult Education is all about trying.  It's all about giving individuals and communities the skills and support they need to turn trying into success. 

The Restore Protected Funding for K12 Adult Education in California Petition from Alliance for California Adult Schools does just that.

Its ask for Adult Education to be added to the list of non-flexible categoricals within the LCFF - Low Cost Funding Formula, giving K12 Adult Schools the secure funding stream they need in order to plan for and provide our people with the education they need to succeed.

Here's the exact wording of the petition:

Restore protected funding for K-12 Adult Ed in California

By Alliance for California Adult Schools (Contact)

To be delivered to: The Calif State House, The Calif State Senate, and Gov Jerry Brown

Petition Statement:    Add Adult Education to the list of non-flexible categoricals within the Local Control Funding Formula
Adult Education has been serving California for over 150 years, but in the last five years it's been cut to the bone. The Local Control Funding Formula puts Adult Schools at risk for further school closures because it does not provide designated funding for Adult Education. Adult Education empowers marginalized communities and creates a ripple effect that includes better community health, greater school success for children, stronger families, and reduced recidivism. It provides job training to put Californians back to work. The new Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 Public Education can safeguard Adult Education if it includes Adult Ed as one of the non-flexible categoricals - and then Adult Education can safeguard our state. Your signature supports this effort and tells our elected officials that Adult Education Matters!

For over 150 years, Adult Education has helped individuals and communities to overcome obstacles and activate their full potential.

For the past five years, we've faced plenty of our own.

The good news is:  We know a lot about overcoming obstacles.  Obstacles are our briar patch.

We know that freeing someone imprisoned by obstacles... flips a switch that brings light and power to everyone. It might seem counter-intuitive... why go into that dark cell and help the person who is stuck there?  Isn't it scary in there?  What all is in there?   Well, not only is another human being in there... someone just like you... but there's also a switch in there... a switch that only the "prisoner" can turn on... and the crazy truth is... when that prisoner has the skill and strength to turn it on... we all benefit, we’re all freed.  
So, you ask, what enables the imprisoned to turn on the light? The same thing that works for us and everyone: the individual choice to try combined with opportunity and support. Those three things in combination produce a power that can light up the entire world.
Want to know another crazy truth?  Every one of us has our own dark cell.  Every one of us has a situation in our lives the solution for which is not just our personal courage but the support and opportunity that can be provided only by others. 
Flip that switch.


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