State Budget Plan and Adult Education

The legislature has agreed on a budget plan for adult schools that is fairly close to the plan in the Governor’s May Revise, but with some changes that represent a significant victory for adult schools.  The governor’s plan to require  K-12 adult schools  to join consortia with their local community colleges will go into effect as planned, but the consortia will begin in two years instead of one.  In the intervening two years, the K-12 districts which had adult schools in 2012-2013 must maintain their adult schools with funding no less than the adult schools received in 2012-2013.  This is a big improvement over the May Revise, which basically left adult schools at the mercy of their districts for another year.

The budget plan does not contain any language that “narrows the mission” of adult schools, so under the budget plan adult schools could continue offering state funded  Older Adult and Parent Education programs for at least the next year.  This gives advocates for these embattled programs more time to spread the word about their merits and ask the state to once again provide stable funding for them.

In the long run, adult school teachers, students and community advocates need to seek a place at the table in the shaping of the consortia.  On one hand, the consortia address a real need for better coordination between community colleges, adult schools and adult education programs in correctional facilities.  On the other hand,  the fact that money for adult schools will  actually be part of the community college budget, and that plans for the consortia would be approved at a very high level (California Department of Education) means that there is a strong possibility that decisions will be very top down, and that the voices of adult schools and the communities they serve may get lost.  All that remains to be seen.

In the short run, adult schools on the brink of closure are coming back thanks to the legislature’s budget plan.  You can read more here:

Vista:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/17/tp-adult-ed-not-on-chopping-block/

Oroville

http://www.orovillemr.com/news/ci_23508554/oroville-adult-ed-is-back-track

Sweetwater:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/17/adult-ed-return-sweetwater/

Azusa and Covina-Valley (albeit with a sour, and  rather atypical, reaction from Covina-Valley’s superintendent):

http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23497753/azusa-and-covina-valley-school-districts-react-new

Many thanks to Karen Arthur for compiling these articles on her invaluable Alliance 4 California Adult Schools Facebook page.  If you are on Facebook and have not liked this page yet, I highly recommend it. It is an excellent way to keep up with what is going on with California’s adult schools.

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One Response

  1. Please continue the Emeritus Program. As an 85 year old, I find it invaluable.
    Irwin Berg

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