May 14, 2019
From: CFT Local 4681, San Mateo Adult School Federation of Teachers
Re: Funding for Adult Education - 110 Million Increase Needed Now
Dear Governor Newsom,
We are the teachers of San Mateo Adult School Federation of Teachers, California Federation of Teachers Local 4681. We provide Adult Education to the central and eastern part of San Mateo County: English as a Second Language, Career Tech Education, GED, High School Diploma, Citizenship, Parent Education, Older Adults and Community Integration programs.
You left Adult Ed out of your budget and May Revise thinking, understanding, and increases. You increased funding for Community Colleges - maybe in the mistaken idea they are the main providers of Adult Education. They are not.
Adult Schools are the primary providers of Adult Education in California. In the relatively new Regional Consortia system, Adult Education, county by county, is delivered through the coordination of Adult Schools and Community Colleges. In a very few places - such as San Francisco - the main provider is the Community College. In most places, it is Adult Schools.
Adult Schools have been grossly underfunded since 2009 when the Global Financial Crash spurred Governor Schwarzenegger to flex categorical funds and allow K12 districts to use Adult Ed funding to survive the recession era cuts.
Prior to 2009, Adult Ed in California was funded at 750 million. Now it is funded at roughly 500 million - even though there are more people to serve and this money must now fund some non-credit Community College programs if they are part of the Regional Consortia delivery system for Adult Ed.
California - as you know - is the 5th largest economy in the world.
It is also 17th in income inequality.
We have the means to address the problem of income inequality - and Adult Education is a crucial part of the solution --- IF Adult Ed is adequately funded.
Your May Revise provided millions in a special program to support undocumented students and staff at Community Colleges. Wonderful! But did you know that our system - Adult Schools - is mandated to NEVER ask about immigrant status - whereas the Community College can and often does? We have many undocumented students. We can’t give you an exact number - because we are not allowed to ask! But we wager we have more than the Community College system. If you want to help undocumented students and immigrants, you must fund Adult Education!
We know you understand the importance of families and communities. We do, too! No teacher or school or institution can replace family or community. Mother’s education level remains the best predictor of child success.
Button with hand holding a pencil in a raised fist
"Adult Education Matters"
More than any other branch of public education, Adult Education upskills, empowers, and strengthens the most vulnerable parents, families, and communities.
We have been underfunded for over ten years!
Do the right thing - and increase the budget for Adult Education by 110 million dollars!
Cynthia Eagleton, CFT Local 4681 Vice President
The teachers of San Mateo Adult School, SMAS Federation of Teachers
San Mateo, CA 94401