AB 189 Amended, Now Very Dangerous for Adult Education

Note: AB 189 has been further amended since this post was written. For more information, see the post “AB 189 as Amended April 7” (posted to this blog April 24, 2011).  Also see “Against Fees for Adult English as a Second Language and Citizenship Classes” (posted to this blog April 24, 2011), for a comment on the one feature of this bill that has remained constant through the various amendments.

AB 189 (Eng), a bill which originally provided some limited protection for adult education funding, has been amended so as to further injure and endanger adult education.  The title has been changed from “Adult Education Funding” to “Education Funding”.  It retains the language that would allow districts to legally begin charging for English as a Second Language and Citizenship classes, removes all the language specifying that districts need to provide some funding for adult education, and, worst of all, extends Tier III flexibility, the budget gimmick that allows districts to take adult education money and use it for anything they want, until 2015.  Adult schools are barely holding on now.  If flexibility is extended until 2015, there won’t be any adult schools left in California by that year.

You can read the amended text of the bill and comment on it at www.aroundthecapitol.com. Click on “bills” to get to AB 189; you’ll see it right away because it is on top of the list of “most popular bills.

 A look at the information at Around the Capitol reveals some very interesting information.  The bill was amended on March 3, with the “author’s amendments”.  The author would be Michael Eng.  The March 3 amendments removed all protections for adult education funding, changed the language of the bill to provide protections for charter schools instead, and would extend Tier III flexibility to 2015, further endangering adult schools.  That was March 3.

On March 4, Michael Eng held a rally in La Puente, CA to support adult education.  What gives, Michael Eng????

Actions to take:

Go to www.aroundthecapitol.com, and make a comment on the bill.  Right now, AB 189 is the most popular bill on this website (meaning that a lot of people look at it).  It already has a long string of comments saying what a good thing it is because we need to save adult education.  Right now, those comments count as being in favor of a bill that has profoundly changed.  It’s important to comment on the bill as it is now and point out that this is a completely different bill.

You can also sign up to get updates to the bill on your email.


4 Responses

  1. 1.

    Why even send it to committee? A bait and switch tactic?

    The language protecting and securing adult ed funding in the original bill has been crossed out — see pages 8, 9, and 10 of the amended bill (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0151-0200/ab_189_bill_20110303_amended_asm_v98.pdf).

    The bill, as amended, is now in the hands of the California State Assembly Committee on Education.

    Here’s a list of the committee members with contact information. The list includes Mike Eng, who introduced the bill, and a local Assembly member from San Francisco,Tom Ammiano.

    Julia Brownley – Chair Dem-41
    (916) 319-2041 Assemblymember.Brownley@assembly.ca.gov

    Chris Norby – Vice Chair Rep-72
    (916) 319-2072 Assemblymember.Norby@assembly.ca.gov

    Tom Ammiano Dem-13 (916) 319-2013 Assemblymember.Ammiano@assembly.ca.gov

    Joan Buchanan Dem-15 (916) 319-2015 Assemblymember.Buchanan@assembly.ca.gov

    Betsy Butler Dem-53 (916) 319-2053 Assemblymember.Butler@assembly.ca.gov

    Wilmer Amina Carter Dem-62 (916) 319-2062 Assemblymember.Carter@assembly.ca.gov

    Mike Eng Dem-49 (916) 319-2049 Assemblymember.Eng@assembly.ca.gov

    Jeff Gorell Rep-37 (916) 319-2037 Assemblymember.Gorell@assembly.ca.gov

    Linda Halderman Rep-29 (916) 319-2029 Assemblymember.Halderman@asm.ca.gov

    Donald P. Wagner Rep-70 (916) 319-2070 Assemblymember.Wagner@assembly.ca.gov

    Das Williams Dem-35 (916) 319-2035 Assemblymember.Williams@assembly.ca.gov

    The link for the committee: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/newcomframeset.asp?committee=6

    On the Senate side, the Standing Committee on Education includes Loni Hancock — see http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/standing/education/_home1/profile.htm

    The chair for the Senate Subcommittee on Education is State Senator Carol Liu, a former Richmond teacher, union leader, and school administrator. Here’s the subcommittee link: http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/sub/BFR_1_EDUC/_home1/PROFILE.HTM.

  2. It is shameful what has happened to this country!

    What about a protest?


  3. I agree that a protest might be good. How can we set one up? What ideas do people have?

  4. This is why you should READ a bill before you vote!! They have made several amendments to AB 189. It was once a bill that gave Adult Ed, now we are in more danger than ever.

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