Thursday, April 17, 2014

Torlakson Wants Your Opinion

Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of the California Department of Education, wants your input.

April 15th, he sent out this letter:

"   ...We are in the midst of carrying out Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula to empower parents, teachers, and local school leaders to make their own decisions about how education dollars are spent.

It’s an exciting time for our schools. Parents, teachers, and community members are starting to work together to ensure students get the skills they'll need to be successful in the real world of careers and college. New career technical education programs are taking shape in many schools. Others are working to restore the arts, civics, and STEM.

How about you? What priorities do you have for improving the schools in your community?

To share your ideas and hopes with me, click here."

How does that connect to Adult Education?

Until 2015, when the MOE runs out, money for K12 Adult Schools still runs through K12 Districts.

After 2015, there is no funding for K12 Adult Schools. 

Gov. Brown has more or less promised to provide funding but how that funding will be provided has yet to be decided and must be worked out through and with the Legislature - who are our representatives -in other words, tell them what you know, what you want, what you need!

Will it come in through the Regional Consortia?  If so, what does that mean in terms of equity of power within the Consortia.  Community Colleges already receive money through apportionment.  So how will that work? 

Will K12 Adult Schools be returned to their protected categorical status?  Many think this is a non-starter but other programs, such as CTE - Career Tech Ed, which used to have protected categorical status, and just like K12 Adult Ed, lost that in the "Flex," are now fighting for a return to protected status.  And CTE, with Assemblymember Muratsuchi as their legislative champion, is making headway.

Alliance for California Adult Schools started a petition to restore protected funding for K12 Adult Schools.   Will the petition and enthusiasm for this idea catch fire?  We'll see.

People are overwhelmed with all the changes going on in education.  It's hard enough understanding and navigating the changes, let alone making wise, informed choices, suggesting or promoting new ideas, or making a case for going slowly, gathering input, and keeping an eye on the both the future as the past as we make decisions now.

That's all the more reason it's good that Torlakson is asking for input and all the more reason we should provide it.

Torlakson has been a good supporter of Adult Education and of K12 Adult Schools.  When Gov. Brown wanted to move all Adult Education programs inside the Community College system, Torlakson said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."   And he is a keynote speaker Saturday, April 26th at the CCAE State Conference in San Diego.

Torlakson's call for input is a great opportunity to speak up about the value of Adult Education and the need for Designated Funding for K12 Adult Schools.

Click here to send Torlakson a message.

California Department of Education
Superintendent Tom Torlakson
(photo credit:
He's asked to hear from us -
                      and he's waiting!

And if you want more information about LCFF - the Local Control Funding Formula - click here.

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