Communities Organized to Save Adult School Meeting Notes for May 26, 2010

Present:  Solomon Belette of Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Rosamaria Legier of  West Contra Costa Adult Education (WCCAE) Adult Basic Education program, Kristen Pursley of the WCCAE ESL program, Pat Miles of the WCCAE ESL program, Ken Ryan of the WCCAE Parent Education program.

PRESENTATION TO THE WEST COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF MAYORS AND SUPERVISORS

The group discussed what best to include in a Communities Organized to Save Adult School (COSAS) presentation to the West County Association of Mayors and Supervisors meeting the following day.  Solomon Belette proposed  a comparison of the state of adult education last year at this time and at present.  The group agreed to adopt this format, and Kristen Pursley agreed to prepare a handout.

PREPARATION FOR 06/22 BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

The West Contra Costa Board of Education will vote on the proposed budget for 2010-2011 at the meeting of Tuesday, June 22.  Supporters of adult education to attend the Board of Education meeting in the evening to thank the board and encourage them to keep supporting adult education.  There will be an adult education end-of-year potluck  a picnic at Miller-Knox Shoreline from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on the same day. Adult education students, teachers and staff, as well as supporters of adult education are welcome to attend.

VOLUNTE  ERS TO HELP THE OLDER ADULT PROGRAM KEEP SENIOR CENTERS OPEN DURING THE SUMMER

The Older Adult program is trying to find funding to keep the senior centers open during the summer.  One way they will be raising money is by volunteering at the El Cerrrito Fourth of July celebration.  The senior centers receive a $20 donation for every volunteer who works a four hour shift.  Two COSAS members volunteered at this meeting, and COSAS will continue to try to find more volunteers to help out the senior centers.

LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S OFFICE REPORT ON FLEXIBILITY

The California State Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recently came out with a report on the effects of flexibility funding for the California schools.  Flexibility means that categorical programs, like adult education, which used to have protected funding streams, have lost this protection until 2013 at least. Flexibility has enabled California school districts to take all or part of adult school money to use for other purposes, and this has resulted in drastic cuts to many California adult school programs and elimination of a few.  The LAO report is based entirely on a survey of superintendants of schools, who like flexibility and request more.  However, it may also contain language that suggesting that a return to Average Daily Attendance (ADA)  funding for adult schools may be recommended.

COSAS will form a committee to study the LAO report and look at its implications for adult education.  Solomon Belette suggested that the group should point out that the report is based on information for school superintendants only, and has no information from the consumer (student) perspective.

DAY LABORERS

The City of Richmond is working on a vocational center which will serve as a resource for day laborers as well as other clients.  The center will  be located close to the Home Depot where the day laborers come to look for work.   COSAS would like to talk to the City of Richmond about involving WCCAE in plans for the vocational center because WCCAE could provide vocational education, GED and English language instruction services there.   Kristen Pursley will contact Roberto Reyes to see  about setting up a meeting with Richmond City Council members Maria Viramontes and Ludmyrna Lopez.

SHARING RESOURCES WITH OTHER CONTRA COSTA COUNTY ADULT SCHOOLS

COSAS now has some resources, such as a resolution in support of adult education from the Contra Costa County Central Labor Council, that might be of use to other Contra Costa County adult schools, such as Mount Diablo Adult School and Martinez Adult School.  Since all adult schools are going through basically the same struggle, it makes sense to share these resources.  Kristen Pursley will contact Lisa Raffel of Catholic Charities of the East Bay, since Catholic Charities has a program that collaborates with both WCCAE and Mt. Diablo, to find out if Mt. Diablo might be interested in these resources.

UPDATES

Kensington Parents —  Ken Ryan has not had time to follow up with the Kensington parents.  This project may have to be tabled for now.

Neighborhood Associations — Kristen Pursley made contact with Jayma Brown of the North and East Richmond Neighborhood Association. She will be meeting with Jayma over the summer.

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