All along, many folks have thought these programs were valuable. They simply didn't think there was enough money to pay for them, coming out of Great Meltdown of Wall Street, Main Street, and Adult Education. Others, like the folks at the LAO (Legislative Analyst Office), thought the mission of Adult Education should be narrowed to a more work-oriented focus. (They also thought the two systems - K12 Adult Ed and Community Adult Ed should stay as they were - separate, just better coordinated.) Meltdowns are the perfect time to re-form things because everything is nice and gooey and often there have already been losses, changes, etc. This idea is the central tenet of the Shock Doctrine. Before you get too upset about that, just remember that can swing in any direction. It might be a direction you like. It might be a direction you don't like. It's just one of those things that's true and also encapsulated in the idea that crises = opportunity.
In any case, that's what happened.
Now, as we get close to when these changes -
State funding for Adult Education through the new Regional Consortia Block Grant System will go toward only these five programs:
* Elementary and secondary basic skills, including classes required for a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate
go into effect, there is growing support for programs which will no longer be financially supported by the State.
What will happen?
I don't know. But here's a list of the growing support.
(Click here for the longer version of this post.)
Hit the "read more" link to see the list.
1. "Too Old To Learn" - website focused on saving Older Adults programs in Los Angeles. Many resources, testimonials and links to a petition are on the site.
2. Continue to Fund Programs for Older Adults Classes - Change.org petition addressed to Los Angeles Board of Education. Petition is focused on Older Adults classes in Los Angeles only.
3. AB1112 - Assembly Member Patty Lopez' bill to reinstate State funding for Parent Education and Family Literacy.
4. "Please Support AB1112 to Save Parent Ed and Family Literacy Programs in California" - Moveon.org petition addressed to the State House (Senate and Assembly) in support of the Lopez bill.
5. LA Family Literacy - website focused on saving Parent Ed programs in Los Angeles. Excellent info and testimonials on the site.
6. CFT - California Federation of Teachers Union. Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas' testimony at the January 29th 2015 Oversight Hearing on Adult Ed can be viewed here. (2:03:25). The Adult Education issue paper can be read here.
7. Alliance for California Adult Schools - A4CAS. On the Resources page, scroll down to "Mission - Broad or Narrow" for many pertinent links and articles.
8. George Porter's Petition for the Broad Mission. George Porter is an Older Adults instructor at Berkeley Adult School, member of the Berkeley Commission on Aging, and a grassroots advocate for Adult Education and the broad mission.
9. Carlos Alcala of the California Chicano Latino Caucus speaking at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 on Hearing on Adult Education. Video here. He speaks at 1.22 into the hearing.
10. Commissioner Irma Beserra Nunez speaking at the same hearing. 1.21 into the hearing.
If you have trouble with the link to the hearing, go to the Cal Channel website and look up the March 24th Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 hearing on Adult Education. .
11. Save Your Adult School blog. Numerous excellent posts on the topic including this one and this one. The Save Your Adult School blog holds the best collection of information on why these programs are valuable.
12. Restore Protected Funding for K-12 Adult Ed - Moveon.org petition. Petition focuses on safe funding for Adult Schools but many of the comments focus on Parent Ed and Older Adults. Recently, there have been many comments from Chula Vista residents as that area is facing the loss of its Parent Education program. There are also many comments from Alcalanes Adult School students facing the loss of their programs. Here are some comments pulled from the petition:
Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego, CA signed this petition on Apr 16, 2015.
Lorena from Chula vista, CA signed this petition on Apr 16, 2015.
eunice palacios from 91914, CA signed this petition on Apr 15, 2015.
Caroline Ballarino from chula Vista, CA signed this petition on Apr 11, 2015.
Elliot Barenbaum from Walnut Creek, CA signed this petition on Apr 3, 2015.
neil c riley from walnut creek, CA signed this petition on Mar 24, 2015.
2793. Nancy E. Montoya from Orinda, CA signed this petition on Mar 23, 2015.