From Kristen Pursley's Save Your Adult School Blog:
Please call or email your state legislators today to request that they support stable, dedicated funding for adult schools with a strong Maintenance of Effort requirement to protect current adult school capacity.
Governor Brown’s May Revise of the budget includes stable funding for adult schools. However, the community colleges are lobbying to have a key protection for adult schools removed: the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement for school districts that is part of the Adult Education Block Grant that will provide funding for adult schools next year. The community colleges don’t like the fact that some money will be set aside for adult schools. They want “flexibility” so they can get access to the money for adult schools.
Flexibility for school districts was what almost killed adult schools last time. We don’t need to have to fight for our lives against the community colleges now. It’s time we had a reliable stream of funding so we can get down to the business of educating adults.
The governor was extremely generous with the community colleges in the 2015-2016 budget. They have their own funding independent of the Adult Education Block Grant, which was increased by $900 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The Adult Education Block Grant Money set aside for adult schools is only $350 million, and it is the only state money California’s 554 adult schools will receive next year, down significantly from the approximately $700 million adult schools received from the state before the economic crash and the ensuing disaster that was categorical flexibility. Some districts may choose to support their adult schools with money from their general fund, but that will only happen in well-funded districts and will almost certainly never be more than a very small amount. Many adult schools receive some federal funds, but those are supplemental. For yet another year, adult schools will receive only enough money to maintain their services at the greatly reduced 2012-2013 level. They are still not being given the money they need to begin rebuilding.
But the community colleges want access to even the small amount of money adult schools have been granted for next year. The fact is, adult schools need a maintenance of effort more than ever now. Since 2012-2013, the two year Maintenance of Effort requirement imposed by the state ensured that school districts would not be able to take any more money from their adult schools, and adult schools were relatively stable. Now that the old Maintenance of Effort is sunsetting, adult schools once again face instability. Four adult schools have closed, and Los Angeles has issued layoff notices to hundreds of adult school teachers.
Community colleges are a vital California institution, and they deserve to be well funded. However, California needs both adult schools and community colleges to serve adults well. California's adult schools need to be well funded and well respected.
You can find your legislators at http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
Please call or write your legislators and ask them to support the Governor’s plan for the Adult Education Block Grant as set forth in the May Revise. Ask that your legislator support stable, dedicated funding for adult schools with a robust Maintenance of Effort requirement so that neither school districts nor community colleges will be able to flex adult school money. Nix to flex! Adult schools deserve dedicated, secure funding.
For more information, see this excellent post on the Adult Education Matters blog:
See also the message from California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) Legislative Analyst Dawn Koepke, below: