GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSES TRANSFERRING ADULT EDUCATION TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Guaranteed to generate debate, the Governor’s Budget for 2013-14 proposes to transfer the state’s Adult Education program from K-12 districts to community colleges. This recommendation has been proposed before and rejected because K12 districts are better positioned to deliver the program for the following reasons:
Adult Education covers instruction to the high school diploma level with dedication to basic education and English acquisition, two areas outside of community college focus.
Adult Education offers community-based instruction with easy access for students.
Adult Education offers immediate response to student programmatic needs.
Adult Education is cost effective. A state dedication of $600 million serves over one million students in a given year, a critical factor with 5 million Californians lacking a high school diploma.
The Legislative Analyst report, as noted in the following, recommends that AE remain in K-12 and that clear distinctions be instituted regarding what instruction belongs in K-12 Adult Education and the community colleges.
STATE’S LEGISLATIVE ANALYST RECOMMENDS A SEPARATE FUNDING MECHANISM FOR ADULT EDUCATION IN K-12
On December 5th, the state’s Legislative Analyst released a comprehensive report on California’s Adult Education program. A number of substantive recommendations are put forth, including but not limited to the following:
Focus state support on a core Adult Education mission leading to a high school diploma and short term vocational training.
Provide a clear distinction between Adult Education and community college instruction.
Fund Adult Education as a separate item within school district budgets.
Promote a coordinated and delineated system between Adult Education and community colleges.
This LAO report presents a valuable tool for responding to and modifying the Governor’s recommendation to transfer the Adult Education to the community colleges.
What to Do………
Implement the LAO recommendations on Adult Education.
At the Centro Latino for Literacy in Los Angeles, students first learn to to read and write in Spanish before they begin English lessons.
By Chris Richard
California is home to a quarter of the nation's adults who speak little or no English. The state used to have a huge number of these people enrolled in language classes, but recession-battered school districts statewide have slashed or even eliminated such programs.
Dawn Koepke is a lobbyist who works to give voice to Adult Education in Sacramento.
She gives a very heartening assessment of the Governor's proposed budget for 2013-14.
She also lays out specific bits that we need to think on as we go forward into the next few months, as the proposal is hammered into a reality.
We need to be one of those hammers, as the proposal as assessed, tweaked, and finalized.
From her assessment:
While I am intensely aware of the significant concerns within the field of hearing the Governor propose a shift of adult education responsibilities to the community colleges, let me suggest to you that this proposal is an incredibly positive outcome from the hard work we’ve all put in over the last year. When I look at the proposal, I see the Governor and his Administration coming around about adult education – a shift that is in and of itself a HUGE victory! To put it in to perspective, the Administration last year refused to acknowledge that adult education needed a different path rather than merely providing flexibility to the locals to make adult education a priority. And to take it a step further, providing a dedicated funding source was a nonstarter.
Look where we are now – the Governor has proposed a budget plan that acknowledges the importance of adult education, the need to sustain it going forward, the need and allocation of a dedicated funding source. 180 degree turn – AWESOME! Now, of course the details of the delivery model are incredibly concerning. Shifting to the community colleges doesn’t make sense for a host of reasons as follows:
Be sure to click here to read the full piece on the CCAE webpage, including that host of reasons.
We'll need to know what those reasons are as we approach Legislators and the Governor in the months to come.