Monday, February 10, 2014

Concerns About Equity in the Regional Consortia

Equity in the new Regional Consortia system is important.

Over and over, we've heard this voiced - by students, teachers, administrators, community members.

Now CCAE, ACSA and CAEAA are voicing concerns about it.

Please read this important letter they have sent to Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of the California Department of Education, and Brice Harris, Chancellor of the California Community College System.

Click here to call or write your own letter to Superintendent Torlakson.

And click here to contact Chancellor Harris' office.

Hit the "read more" link to read the letter.

February 10, 2014

The Honorable Tom Torlakson The Honorable Brice Harris

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chancellor

California Department of Education California Community Colleges

1430 N Street 1102 Q Street

Sacramento, CA 95814 Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: The Future of Adult Education & Addressing Misperceptions
Dear Superintendent Torlakson and Chancellor Harris:

On behalf of the California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA), the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE), we write to convey concerns regarding some misperceptions about the future of adult education in California.

As community colleges and K-12 school districts/adult education have begun the AB 86 consortia planning process, we have heard from many consortia members around the state concerns about comments made by community college representatives indicating that it is their understanding that they are being charged with taking over all of adult education going forward. This is highly concerning and objectionable – serving no purpose but to further divide the two systems who are supposed to be working together for the betterment of our respective students.

The regional consortia effort above all else was intended to ensure better alignment and coordination between K-12 Adult Education and Community Colleges as suggested by the LAO, CDE’s Strategic Plan for Adult Education, as well as outside stakeholders like the EDGE Campaign. Such collaboration and reform will work, if done correctly from the onset and with an understanding of the need to protect and enhance the systems currently helping students succeed.

As representatives of K-12 adult educators, we are firmly behind the regional consortia approach to ensure alignment and coordination between K-12 Adult Education and Community Colleges. This coordination and collaboration is critically important to the success of our adult students and that should be the focus of further reform efforts – not merely restructuring the delivery systems and funding distribution for the sake of "reform." The structure must protect the inherent value of each delivery system, while promoting this coordination and collaboration. We must focus on the importance of coordination and collaboration above any further reforms in order to move beyond the division that has historically existed between the two systems at both the state level and many local areas throughout the state.

In this regard, continually hearing the misperception from our community college partners that they are being charged with taking over all of adult education is concerning and must be remedied immediately in order for these local and resulting statewide efforts to achieve the intended goals for adult learners. The fact that we’ve heard from our local community college partners that this message is coming from the Chancellor’s office is that much more concerning. When the subject was raised with the Chancellor’s office staff, such comments were denied while we continue to hear that exact message around the state. As you can well imagine, starting out this important collaborative work with this misperception and unwillingness to organize the work around shared leadership is highly counterproductive.

We are calling on each of you to ensure these misperceptions are remedied immediately and that such coordination at the state level is prioritized and sincere. As an example, we would suggest distributing a joint

advisory or notification on this issue to all school districts and community colleges as well as posting it to the AB 86 website and your respective websites.

We appreciate your consideration of our concerns and look forward to working with you to clarify these issues statewide and develop a funding framework for FY 15-16 that maintains the Administration’s commitment to a dual delivery system. If you have any questions or would like to discuss these issues further, please contact Dawn Koepke with McHugh, Koepke & Associates at (916) 930-1993, CAEAA and CCAE’s legislative advocate or Laura Preston ACSA’s Adult Ed Council legislative advocate at (916) 329- 3807. Thank you!


Cyndi Parulan Colfer Larriann Torrez Rocky Bettar

President President President

CAEAA CCAE ACSA Adult Ed Council

Cc: Department of Finance

Legislative Analyst’s Office

Ms. Karen Stapf Walters, Advisor, Office of the Governor

Mr. Richard Zeiger, Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, CDE

Mr. William Ellerbee, Deputy Superintendent, Special Services & Support Branch, CDE

Mr. Andrew Laufer, Education Administrator, Special Services & Support Branch, CDE

Mr. Gordon Jackson, Director, Coordinated Student Support & Adult Education Div., CDE

Ms. Patricia Terry, Adult Education Office Administrator, CDE

Mr. Alejandro Espinoza, Legislative Representative, CDE

Mr. Vincent Stewart, Senior Vice Chancellor, Government Relations & External Affairs, CCC

Ms. Debra Jones, Dean, Career Education Practices/Industry Partner Practices, CCC

Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)

Members, California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA)

Members, California Council of Adult Education (CCAE)

The California Adult Education Administrators' Association (CAEAA) is a statewide organization open to administrators or management personnel who work in, or support, adult education programs. Association activities are dedicated to increasing public awareness of adult education services and to developing and promoting legislation to further the positive effects adult education has on individual students as well as on state of California's social, economic, and political systems.

Since 1943 and as the largest professional organization in its field, the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) has worked to serve all levels of the adult education family including teachers, classified employees, students and administrators. CCAE sponsors and engages on legislation and budgetary matters that affect adult schools, adult education, adult students and communities. It also serves as a resource, providing professional development opportunities for all of its members.

The Purpose of the ACSA Adult Education Council: To identify and study issues relating to adult education. To recommend legislative positions to ACSA and advocate for legislation that advances public adult education statewide. To actively enhance and promote adult education’s business, industry, and the community at large. To plan and coordinate professional growth opportunities for administrators of adult education program.

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