FY 15-16 Budget Myth vs. Fact
Myth #1: The Governor has promised $500 million to fund adult education ongoing.
Fact: The $500 million figure was put forth in the FY 13-14 budget discussions. To date, there are no commitments to maintain the $500 million level of funding for adult education in FY 15-16 – may be more or less, there is only a vague commitment to provide some level of funding (no specific number at this time).
Myth #2: The AB 86 regional consortia budget trailer bill contained funding for adult education.
Fact: AB 86 process only provided $25 million for planning purposes no programmatic funding was included.
Myth #3: LCFF funds can be used for adult education.
Fact: While LCFF does not prohibit the use of LCFF funds for adult education, the structure of LCFF focuses on the K-12 student and given the funding thresholds to be achieved per student under the framework, school districts will inevitably have to use all funds for K-12 purposes in order to meet the goals and standards under LCFF.
Myth #4: The Maintenance of Effort (MOE) under the FY 13-14 budget ensured school districts must continue to fund adult education.
Fact: The MOE required school districts who were funding adult education in FY 12-13 to continue the same level of funding for adult education for two years until FY 15-16. Currently, beginning in FY 15-16, there will be no funding for K-12 adult education.
Myth #5: The Brown Administration wants to shift the responsibility of a education to the community college system.
Fact: While the Brown Administration continues to suggest that the are supportive of a dual-delivery system for adult education, their current thinking is to create “one unified statewide system.” In this regard, they do not care who delivers the programs and services, but want all of the funding and oversight to be managed out of the Community College Chancellor’s office at the state level. This is highly dangerous for K-12 adult schools in that it provides not stability or certainty to school districts regarding the future of adult schools.
Myth #6: Our goal is to return California Adult Schools to pre-2007 funding formulas, program practices and priorities.
Fact: The Strategic Plan for Adult Education, Legislative Analyst's Office Report, Governor's actions and the impact of Maximum Flexibility have all made it clear that there will be no returning to business as usual in the pre-2007 world of adult education. The Regional Consortia process will be instrumental in identifying adult education needs and driving long term funding decisions. Meanwhile, literacy instruction, short term Career and Technical Education, high school credit recovery and programs for the disabled have repeatedly been identified as current priorities and appropriate specializations for California Adult Schools. In addition, funding distributions will be more closely tied to student progress.
Myth #7: The Regional Consortia timeline will provide funding decisions time to prevent adult schools from being shut down in 2015-16.
Fact: Reasonable assurance of adult school funding must appear in the January release of the Governor's 15-16 Budget Plan. Without this reassurance, school districts will not have adequate sources of funding to keep their adult schools open and will have to issue March 15 and May 15 layoff notices to adult school staff throughout the state. Since the final Regional Consortia report is not due to the state until March 1, 2015, the report cannot be studied and processed in time to prevent massive layoffs and adult school closures. Laid off educators will need to quickly pursue other employment and thus the educational infrastructures that took years to assemble will disintegrate.