San Mateo Adult School Federation of Teachers
789 E. Poplar Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94401
Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the Assembly
Attention: Rick Simpson
Sacramento, CA 95814
May 21, 2016
Dear Speaker Rendon:
We are writing to urge you to increase adult education funding from $500 million to $750 million in this year’s budget. California adult schools received $754 million in funding in 2007. Our budgets were cut drastically during the recession, and adult schools are the only public education system whose funding has not been restored.
Also during the recession, school districts were allowed to take money from adult schools. Many districts closed their adult schools outright, while others cut adult school budgets by 50%, 75%, 95%. Oakland adult school, for example, had 25,000 students before the recession and now has less than 1,200.
Even before the recession, adult schools were the most efficient public education system in the state. We educated 1.2 million students at a cost of just $754 million, which is less than 1/10th of what community colleges currently receive to educate only twice the number of students. And that was before our budgets were cut. Now we have only $500 million, and we’re sharing that with community college adult education under our new consortia, as well as paying administrative costs for the consortia. Adult schools do a lot with a little.
The extra $250 million is urgently needed to restore programs like Oakland’s that were cut so drastically, to reopen adult schools that were closed, and to provide adult education in areas where residents don’t have access to adult education, such as in some parts of the Central Valley.
There is currently a bill to increase adult education funding sponsored by Asm. Patty Lopez, AB 1846. Whether this bill makes it through committee or not, you can ensure funding by putting the additional $250 million into this year’s budget. We strongly urge you to do so. Thank you for your support.
The San Mateo Adult School Federation of Teachers, California Federation of Teachers local 4681
Bruce Neuburger, President
David Doneff, Vice President
Cynthia Eagleton, Secretary