Urgent — Adult Ed Eliminated Soon???

A COSAS member attended the first of a series of Community Budget Meetings scheduled by the district last night.  At these meetings, the Superintendent, Dr. Harter, has the attendees vote with a “clicker” on several possible budget actions, one being the elimination of adult education, another being to take an additional million dollars from adult education. 

 The meeting last night was held in the El Sobrante area, and the COSAS member present reported that most of the  people there did not seem to know what adult education is.  There were about 60 people present.  They did not vote to eliminate adult education, so Dr. Harter asked them to vote on whether to take an additional million from adult education. This passed, and the COSAS member said that this was the only time Dr. Harter manifested any satisfaction about a result, remarking, “That’s 66%” (of the possible votes). 

 Supporters of adult education need to get to these meetings. For the purpose of these meetings, the district has been divided up into several areas, designated on the WCCUSD website as “families”.  The schedule for the meetings is as follows:

 Monday, January 25,   DeAnza Family,   Murphy School Multipurpose Room (this was last night)

 Wednesday, January 27,  Pinole Family, Collins Elementary Multipurpose Room

 Thursday, January 28, Hercules Family, Hercules High School Cafeteria

 Tuesday, February 2, Kennedy Family, LaVonya DeJean Multipurpose Room

 Wednesday, February 3, El Cerrito Family,  El Cerrito High School Cafeteria

 Thursday, February 4, Richmond Family, Downer Multipurpose Room

 All meetings are from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

 Notice that of these six meetings, only two are in the urban core where adult education’s services are concentrated (the meetings at LaVonya DeJean and Downer).  The schedule of these meetings is heavily weighted towards the suburbs.  We have some services in all of these areas, but the majority of our classes are offered in the Richmond/San Pablo area.

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4 Responses

  1. The seriousness of this problem is great. I think there are two real problems – lack of exposure (evident in this post) and the tier 3 situation. Every view of this blog can spread the news by creating a link on their FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and e-mails to ALL of their local contacts. All of our schools need to know we exist. We can reach out to parents through the schools.

    Secondly, just as Madeline had mentioned, I think EVERYONE should write to our legislators about the tier 3 situation. At minimum ask that our funding be moved to tier 2.

    How did the meeting go at Murphy?

  2. I’ve informed my students at Serra about the urgency of the situation. One student has put up signs at her house and in her car (used as a sunshade while she’s parked). This is something we can all do. Today during break, another student wrote: “We need adult school” on a large piece of paper and circulated it. All the students signed it. It’s posted by the door for more students to sign.

    I’ve encouraged students to come to the summit on Saturday, and told them they MUST go to the February 10th Board meeting to be seen and heard.

  3. Some answers to earlier questions and some new ideas:

    Here’s what we’re talking about in Hayward:

    New business model (ultimately “pay for yourself”):
    CTE:
     Hire a professional grant writer (e.g. HTA) to explore large grants and acquire a “fiscal agent” (non-profit – e.g. the Ed Fund) as an umbrella outside the District to administer funds
     Connect with the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) for project funding
     Collaborate with the Community College (align curriculum) and share classes (students would receive concurrent Community College credit – as Middle College students do)
     Create a “scholarship fund” (from small and large donors) to underwrite increased fees for CTE classes (and Older Adult, if we still had them in Hayward)

    ABE/GED: Look for federal funds (Race to the Top)

    ESL: Connect for partnerships with local organizations (examples in WCCUSD):
    Concilio Latino
    Richmond Vision
    Faith Works
    Justice Matters
    Catholic Charities

    PARENT ED: Connect with: Healthy Families & PTA

    OLDER ADULT: Establish a “scholarship fund” to underwrite increased fees (connect with AARP, various city commissions on Aging, and non-profits supporting the issues of an aging population for grants and partnerships)

    What is really going on with adult education’s budget?

    Adult Ed is in Tier III because of the large pot of money that had not been allocated through the full implementation of AB23 (“over cap” dollars that resulted from the funding formula used by Adult Ed) that authorized the redistribution of ADA beginning in 2006-07. The democrats put Adult Ed and ROP into Tier III to avoid raising taxes even though both had support in the legislature as stand alone programs. Once we became Tier III, it became an encroachment against the general fund (as it is no longer mandated). (Per Jeff Frost CCAE Legislative Analyst)

    WHAT CAN WE DO?

    Continue to get the truth about adult education out to the community, so that the community, elected officials, etc. fully understand WCCAE. We need to demonstrate the impact on real lives and tell the stories of people whose lives have been affected by adult education: BE SURE TO: issue press releases, and upload videos to YouTube — try to get VIRAL.

    Arrange for meetings between individual Board of Education members and small groups of COSAS members –

    BE SURE TO: bring elected city and county officials with you – the solution will be found in partnering and collaborating. Include members of the Richmond Commission on Aging (interested in senior classes) and the Youth Commission (to speak about GED and ABE classes and violence prevention). Invite the all the local east bay mayors and council members to be part of the solution and attend the Saturday event. Also contact Jeff Frost (Legislative Analyst for CCAE jfrost3@sbcglobal.net 916/447-8420) (who has written the “Update” below) for current advice.

    Support new funding sources via legislation, e.g.:

    a. Use the Corrections budget to fund Parenting, ESL and GED (under the auspices of “violence prevention”)
    b. Use the Corrections budget to pay for police officers on school campuses (freeing up millions of dollars in the general funds)
    c. Move Adult Ed back into Tier II (so that it is no longer vulnerable to extinction)
    d. Include Adult Ed 2+2 aligned courses in the Community College budget – creating a partnership (as with Spectrum at Hayward Adult School.)

    Consolidate services across districts – with districts specializing in different Adult Ed areas and referring students outside the district for services (e.g. Castro Valley specializes in Adults with Disabilities)

    Support state wide initiatives to correct how we fund education in California:

    a. The Local Voter Control & Government Accountability Act (reducing school parcel tax passage rate to 55% – so we could pass a parcel tax including Adult Ed funding) (http://www.improvedschoolfunding.com/initiative.aspx)

    b. CTA- Sponsored Split Roll Initiatives (repairing the damage from Prop. 13 and increasing funds available overall)

    i. Education and Taxpayer Fairness Act: Increases all commercial property taxes by more than half by adding a .55% tax on top of the existing 1% tax.
    ii. Protect Homeowners and Close Corporate Tax Loopholes Act: Requires continuous reassessment and bases taxation on current value.

    c. The California Democracy Act — the organizing effort to eliminate the Two-Thirds Rule to pass a budget. These words: “All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote.” (Right now, a small minority of legislators (1/3 plus 1) of either the assembly or senate can block the will of the majority. http://ca.restoremajorityrule.com/

    d.Support: Assembly Bill 1673 – Assembly Member Tony Mendoza (requiring a report to the Legislature regarding the impact of the cuts to Adult Ed)http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_1651-1700/ab_1673_bill_20100120_introduced.pdf

    Finally here are some excerts from an Update by Jeff Frost, CCAE Legislative Analyst (7-10-09):

    Districts will continue to hemorrhage, so keep making adult education important to them.

    Establish a local legislative committee that focuses on outreach and awareness locally. Form a team of advocates that would include a teacher, administrator, a businessperson, and a student. The team should meet with the legislator on Fridays during the school year to let them know that adult education is still providing vital services and that SB4 “flexibility” has resulted in Adult Education helping K-12 deal with the fiscal impact of the state budget cuts. Keep communicating with supportive legislators.

    Build a program that is responsive to the community and get support from community members, businesses and other partners.

    Strategies under consideration:

    * Visit the legislators in their local offices with a team

    * Inform legislators of the impact of “flexibility” on the district and our programs

    * Follow up with the legislators that were visited in Sacramento last March to update them

    * Invite legislators to our sites

    * Meet in Sacramento in the spring (CCAE Leg Day: March 8, 2010 check with Joanne Durkee durkeej@mdusd.k12.ca.us)

  4. THE FACT is 11,000 students attend and PAY for classes.

    The parent opinion VOTING meetings are frighteningly manipulative! Threatening parents that their “school may close so let’s ditch everything we have” is not fair!
    How can closing Adult School get our district out of a $10 million debt?

    1. What is not being stated is that Adult school is NOT FREE!
    Students pay for Adult School classes!

    2. The numbers being putting out there are seriously flawed.

    3. The report Dr. Harter presents states that there are “only” 5,000 individuals who “actually attend.” THE TRUTH IS THAT 11,000 students are on the Adult School rosters.
    THE FACT is 11,000 students attend and PAY for classes.

    Wether they are “the same people” or not, they still pay everytime they sign up for a class! That’s income is it not? That is 11,000 payments for Adult Scinto this hool EVERY 4-8 WEEKS!!! WHY ISNT THAT IN THE BUDGET REPORT? Is it not income? $$$$$$$$

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