Liv Ames for EdSource

Marco Estrella, right, and Yu Liu practice English in an ESL class at San Mateo Adult School.

The governor’s proposed budget, unveiled last week, allocates $500 million for an Adult Education Block Grant, with a provision that existing K-12 adult ed programs be funded for another year.

The new funding allows more time for recently formed local consortia of adult schools, community colleges and other organizations that serve adults to determine what programs their communities need, how they will be funded and who is going to provide them.

K-12 adult schools have been fighting for survival since the recession, when school districts were allowed to use funding formerly dedicated for adult schools for any educational purpose. Many districts, trying to minimize cuts to their K-12 programs, took advantage of this new flexibility and eliminated or severely cut funding to their adult schools.

To stop the decimation of the state’s adult ed programs, the governor and legislators in the 2013-14 budget required districts that still had adult programs to maintain them for two years. If the governor’s current proposal is enacted, adult programs will have direct, dedicated state funding.

Debra Jones, dean of career education practices at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, calls what is outlined in the budget “a gift to adult students.”

“I never dreamed I would see dedicated funding for disenfranchised adults,” Jones said. “We’re celebrating. Overall, this is pretty special.”

Adult schools provide free or low-cost classes to Californians who are too old for K-12 schools but not academically prepared for community college, or who don’t qualify for skilled jobs. They serve immigrants, the unemployed, disabled adults, high-school dropouts and ex-offenders reentering society.

“I never dreamed I would see dedicated funding for disenfranchised adults,” said Debra Jones, dean of career education practices at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. “We’re celebrating. Overall, this is pretty special.”

Without dedicated funding for the next year, adult school administrators and teachers were concerned that their schools would close as districts focused their funds on K-12 students. They were also worried that the newly formed consortia – 70 statewide – which have been meeting for about a year, were not yet ready to fully function.

Hessam Ghajar, a recent immigrant from Iran, practices English with classmates in a San Mateo Adult School class.

Liv Ames for EdSource

Hessam Ghajar, left, and Takeshi Naoi practice English with classmates in a San Mateo Adult School class.

“For the first time in decades, community colleges, county offices of education and school districts have been having meaningful conversations about what adult programs should look like,” said former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who was head of the Assembly Education Committee until the current legislative session began. “We need to build on the work that has been done and then have a thoughtful implementation process to really deliver an effective program.”

The Department of Finance does not know exactly how much of the $500 million will go to preserve current programs, though estimates by adult school providers put the figure at around $300 million. The remaining $200 million or so funds will be given to the consortia to be used for programs and support services, such as child care or career counseling. Only 5 percent can be used for administration.

One issue the consortia will have to grapple with is limited funding to meet the needs of adult learners throughout the state, Jones said. Before the recession, K-12 adult schools were getting $723 million in state funding, she said. In addition, many areas of the state, particularly rural counties, had never had K-12 adult ed programs. The 70 consortia now cover the entire state.

Jones said the Department of Finance made no promises regarding funding beyond the 2015-16 school year. But, she said, finance officials did say it probably would not be less than $500 million in the future.

In his budget, Gov. Brown states that state-funded adult education programs should include basic reading, writing, math, and other elementary and high school classes. They should also include citizenship and English as a second language classes, he said. In addition, adult ed should provide programs for adults with disabilities, apprenticeship programs and short-term, career-technical classes that provide skills in high demand, he said.

Former adult ed priorities under state law, such as older adult programs and parent education, will not receive direct state funding. Supporters have argued that parent education programs are key to involving parents in their children’s education. Under the Local Control Funding Formula, the new state funding system for schools, districts must meet eight priorities, one of which is parent involvement. Supporters of older adult programs say that as baby boomers retire, the need for programs to keep seniors active and mentally alert will grow.

Patricia Brown teaches English as a second language at San Mateo Adult School.

Liv Ames for EdSource

Patricia Brown teaches English as a second language at San Mateo Adult School.

The 2015-16 budget also lays out how the consortia are expected to work. The chancellor of the community colleges and the state superintendent of public instruction will jointly allocate funds among the 70 consortia. In an information session with Department of Finance officials, Jones was told the funds will be distributed based on existing programs, unmet need and performance. More funding is supposed to be channeled to the areas with the greatest needs, echoing the priorities under the Local Control Funding Formula, which gives districts more funds based on the percentages of English learners, low-income students and foster students they serve.

“As with the LCFF for children, allocating more money to areas where there is more need is an excellent idea that has the potential to promote an educational system that is more fair and provides students who stand at a disadvantage with more opportunities to succeed,” said Kristen Pursley, an adult ed teacher with West Contra Costa Adult Education, in a blog about the governor’s plan.

Each consortium will form an allocation committee consisting of seven members – one each from community colleges, K-12 districts, other adult education providers, local workforce investment boards, county social services departments, correctional rehabilitation programs and one public member with relevant expertise. These committees will develop education plans for their consortia and determine which programs will be funded.

Each year, the allocation committees will send a report to the chancellor and state superintendent describing how well they have met the goals in their plans.

Developing an entire new structure and working together to determine which organizations will provide various classes creates a lot of challenges, said Karen Arthur, an Oxnard Adult School teacher. “The allocation committees have a heck of a lot of power.”

Pursley said the proposal leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and its success will depend a lot on the committee members and how well they work together.

The consortia approach is likely to function better, educators say, if communities have worked well together in the past. San Mateo Adult School, for example, has had several years of experience collaborating with community partners through ALLIES, a coalition of community colleges, adult schools and community-based organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Supported by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and with the help of a federal Workforce Innovation grant, the initiative began in 2011 to help the area’s immigrants get the education and support services they needed to find well-paid jobs and careers.

“In some consortia, there is more overlap and more tension between community colleges and adult schools,” said Tim Doyle, assistant director of the San Mateo Adult School. “Here there is much more coordination. The local community college doesn’t do much of what we do.”

Daniel Pec is a 28-year-old immigrant from Guatemala who attends San Mateo Adult School. He said even though both San Mateo College and the adult school offer ESL classes, the focus of the two programs is different. Pec is trained in computer science and expects to eventually go to college, but for now he needs to learn English and support his family.

“The community college is very expensive, and it is more book English,” Pec said, adding that he likes the adult school because he has a chance to practice the language, which has helped him in his job at a restaurant.

Tim Doyle, assistant director of San Mateo Adult School, says there is very little overlap between classes offered at his school and the local community college.

Liv Ames for EdSource

Tim Doyle, assistant director of San Mateo Adult School, says there is very little overlap between classes offered at his school and the local community college.

Jones said the goal is to align the work that adult schools and community colleges are doing to improve access for all students. For example, a student might learn medical transcription at an adult school and then take a medical technology class at a community college. Or in Pec’s case, after learning conversational English in adult school, he might go on to learn “book English” at the local community college.

“We need better pathways,” Jones said. “When people exit one program, they should be adequately prepared when they get to the next one.”

Pursley said that there are many things left to be decided, but adult schools can now “breathe a sigh of relief.”

“There is money for us, and a system is being put into place for ongoing funding,” she said. “Adult schools have a future, and it’s going to be interesting, to say the least.”


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  1. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    And - I must add that it already takes a student 4 to 6 years to get out of Community College. So how does anyone in the Education Community Expect Community College to do remedial work for the High school education that is currently not being provided because of a lack of funding; plus provide the classes needed for a student to graduate in two years so that they can transfer to a Cal State … Read More

    And – I must add that it already takes a student 4 to 6 years to get out of Community College. So how does anyone in the Education Community Expect Community College to do remedial work for the High school education that is currently not being provided because of a lack of funding; plus provide the classes needed for a student to graduate in two years so that they can transfer to a Cal State School or a University of Cal School… and also accommodate adult students?

    The answer is it can not.

    This is another re-distribution of wealth scheme where President Obama wants to provide 2 free years of Community College to everyone who would like to attend Community College. That means all that is required is a pulse. You don’t have to speak english.

    How sad for the legal K-12 students in California.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn, perhaps on Martin Luther King Day we should ask ourselves why African Americans earn less than 70% what white Americans earn. If it is because of historical racism, we need to do more and more, whether it is education, tutoring, remediation, reparations, or redistributive tax schemes, until the average is equalize. Until then we are still a nation which prides itself on saying all men are created equal yet allows inequality based on … Read More

      Dawn, perhaps on Martin Luther King Day we should ask ourselves why African Americans earn less than 70% what white Americans earn. If it is because of historical racism, we need to do more and more, whether it is education, tutoring, remediation, reparations, or redistributive tax schemes, until the average is equalize. Until then we are still a nation which prides itself on saying all men are created equal yet allows inequality based on past racism vs. black, Latino and Native Americans, is proud it’s free yet imprisons over 10 x the % of citizens (1 in 3 black males under 30) that Europe does, many for things which aren’t crimes in Europe, Canada, Australia or Japan (drugs, gambling, prostitution), has draconian sentences and has incredibly segregated schools.

      Maybe we should all on this day vow to find a way to improve this. Maybe put public housing in every neighborhood, not all in a few areas, maybe pay for busing, maybe gerrymander districts better. Maybe look at pubic schools even if it might be a little harder for your kid considering they still have it way better than the actual poor kids in such schools, and knowing a book published last year proved no academic/test advantage to private schools over public ones but serious damage to black and Latino kids due to the resulting segregation (‘The Public School Advantage’, available on Amazon). We should not have segregated schools.in 2015.

      Our first concern should be poor Latino and African American children, as well as Samoan and Native American.

      Remember, you live on land which was stolen from Native Americans and Mexicans, in a nation whose economy was built up by slave labor, and in a community and district which neglected to include public housing and was intentionally designed to keep whites separate from less advantaged black and Latino children after the famous Brown v. Topeka Supreme Court Decision, which most whites publicly praise but privately evade.

      Karma is tough.

      These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

      • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

        Floyd – I really don’t care. The bottom line is tht the California Constitution requires the State of California to fund an adequate education to every student at todays cost – NOT 2008!

        Even the rich white children who are privlleged enough to afford Private school.

        That is the law even if you do not like the result.

        If you want to change the law then do so. But right now that is the law.

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          As long as my child is not receiving enough funding to have reasonable class sizes in facilities that are safe and clean with a minimum 170 day school year then I say absolutely -0- funding for adult education. Children are our future not senior citizens who entered this country illegally.

          Students before illegal immigrants.

          • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

            180 days of school (far to few) – typo

            • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              students of legal residents before adult education

            • S.J. Cooper 1 year ago1 year ago

              I do not know if you are aware if what adult ed is. Adult ed. does not have only immigrates and does not only offer ESL classes. These schools offer community-based classes, such as, basic education (English and math), citizenship classes, vocational education ad high school diploma and GED for students who those student who dropout high school. These students are part of different ethnicity , they are not all illegal immigrants.

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn: The CA Master Plan for Education states that the intent (or one of them) of the community college system is to provide willing students with a second opportunity to pick up what they might not have picked up in high school. That is what they are there for. And, I don't know where you get the information about students taking 4 to six years to "get out of" community college. Get out of what? Certainly the … Read More

      Dawn:

      The CA Master Plan for Education states that the intent (or one of them) of the community college system is to provide willing students with a second opportunity to pick up what they might not have picked up in high school. That is what they are there for.

      And, I don’t know where you get the information about students taking 4 to six years to “get out of” community college. Get out of what? Certainly the chronic underfunding of community college, like the underfunding of K-12, makes it more difficult for students to active their goals without relying on hyperbole.

      And a just, equitable, and “adequate” education for all students is best achieved by building up all students and providing services that best meets individual needs. That means bring CA’s state revenue stream up to a reasonable level to provide for all students. Currently education takes slightly more than half of available state revenues. The state cannot reasonably cut necessary social serves and supports in order to better support schools without causing undue harm to social programs and increased human suffering. Remember, students spend more that 80% of their waking lives in their communities and with their families during their K-12 years. You cannot undermine those communities and families without simultaneously undermining the capacities of students to active in schools where they spend the other 20% of their waking lives.

      And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to rethink the jingoistic comments about who does or does not speak English. The schools rightly, and by law, cannot discriminate based on heritage language.

  2. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    "K-12 adult schools have been fighting for survival since the recession, when school districts were allowed to use funding formerly dedicated for adult schools for any educational purpose." The State of California is constitutionally mandated to fund a free and adequate eduction for EVERY K-12 student and the "state militia". That is very black and white. So that means that the State of California cannot intentionally underfund a single child currently enrolled in K- 12 in order … Read More

    “K-12 adult schools have been fighting for survival since the recession, when school districts were allowed to use funding formerly dedicated for adult schools for any educational purpose.”

    The State of California is constitutionally mandated to fund a free and adequate eduction for EVERY K-12 student and the “state militia”.

    That is very black and white.

    So that means that the State of California cannot intentionally underfund a single child currently enrolled in K- 12 in order to fund adult education.

    My child is funded at $7,002 per student with the “HOPES” of receiving $8,500 by 2021.

    Eliminate Adult Ed and educate ALL the children in California – not just the poor and English Language Learners.

    The new LCFF intentionally underfunds wealthy suburban school districts so that money can be redistributed to the State of California to fund things other than K- 12 Education.

    The new law is unconstitutional under the 14th amendment to the US Constitution because it deprives every student that lives in a “wealthy suburban school district” of an adequate education irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity.

    That is a violation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution under the US Supreme Court Case Rodriguez vs San Antonio School District.

    See: “California’s Local Control Funding Formula – A Parents Perspective”
    http://disclosurecusd.blogspot.com/2014/11/re-research-brief-toward-grand-vision.html

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn: Not log ago you posted a link to a legal study which attempted to establish that providing an "adequate" education to students was now a "Constitutional" right based on previous government activities, legislation, and court precedent . Do you understand that one of the key rationales in that study, to support the constitutionality issue, was the prior enactment of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) and ESEA which, in particular, enacted Title I. Title I funds go … Read More

      Dawn:

      Not log ago you posted a link to a legal study which attempted to establish that providing an “adequate” education to students was now a “Constitutional” right based on previous government activities, legislation, and court precedent .

      Do you understand that one of the key rationales in that study, to support the constitutionality issue, was the prior enactment of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) and ESEA which, in particular, enacted Title I. Title I funds go to schools essentially based on the number of “free and reduced lunch” students they have enrolled. In other words, the two key pieces of legislation and prior government actions involve send “extra” dollars to schools to support the needs of disabled students (obviously) and poor students. This principle, that certain students require more dollars to receive an equitable education, is exactly the same principle undergirding LCFF and its funding provisions.

      So you either support government intervention to support equitable and adequate education, and therefore LCFF, or you don’t.

      • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

        I would support LCFF if the Base Funding Grant was not set so low that it is intentionally designed to deprive students living in wealthy areas of an adequate education so that the State can give more to the poor and ELL and still keep revenue at the State level to initiate new entitlement programs. The real truth is that funding students at 2008 levels while the State pushes expenses down to the local level … Read More

        I would support LCFF if the Base Funding Grant was not set so low that it is intentionally designed to deprive students living in wealthy areas of an adequate education so that the State can give more to the poor and ELL and still keep revenue at the State level to initiate new entitlement programs. The real truth is that funding students at 2008 levels while the State pushes expenses down to the local level will mean that no one will be educated. You cannot educate a student for $7,002 especially if you want to offer programs to the poor and ELL in my District.

        Raise the Base Funding Grant and I will have no issue with LCFF.

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      “And, I don’t know where you get the information about students taking 4 to six years to “get out of” community college. Get out of what? Certainly the chronic underfunding of community college, like the underfunding of K-12, makes it more difficult for students to active their goals without relying on hyperbole.”

      Look at the College going rates.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        I don't support LCFF. First of all, it doesn't do what it sets out to do, whether I agree or not with its goals. It claims to provide more funding for the three targeted student groups, though that's not the case. It provides more funding to districts based upon the unduplicated student count, but there's no requirement for these students to receive any actual funding and LCAP only requires a crude measure of accountability by … Read More

        I don’t support LCFF. First of all, it doesn’t do what it sets out to do, whether I agree or not with its goals. It claims to provide more funding for the three targeted student groups, though that’s not the case. It provides more funding to districts based upon the unduplicated student count, but there’s no requirement for these students to receive any actual funding and LCAP only requires a crude measure of accountability by the district with zero accountability at the schools themselves.

        Take the case of SFUSD. Like other urban districts we have large SC grants. Most of the students who qualify under Free and Reduced are high-performing Asian students. That LCFF loophole gives SFUSD the opportunity to divert much of the SC money these student generate to lower performing schools (Superintendent Zones) and, in effect, double-fund those students. If Brown wanted each and every target student to benefit he would have ensured all SC grant monies go to all those to whom the count is attributed. And, ironically, in the governor’s budget he refers to this as per pupil funding.

        The Free and Reduced designation is a poor method for identification. There’s too much opportunity for fraud in the school lunch system and not all poor students are well …poor students. Conversely, many students who don’t qualify for FR are poor performing students. We spend hundreds of millions on testing and Brown is telling us that he cannot identify a low performing student except through a school lunch application (K and 1st excluded to due lack of data)?

        LCFF codifies a two-tiered system that rewards students financially based upon their economic status. And while such status runs the gamut from destitute and homeless to extreme privilege, the system only differentiates between a yes and a no.

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      “The state cannot reasonably cut necessary social serves and supports in order to better support schools without causing undue harm to social programs and increased human suffering.”

      Constitutionally yes- the state is mandated to fund a basic education for K- 12 before it funds ANYTHING else.

      Sorry- but that is the bottom line

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      "And a just, equitable, and “adequate” education for all students is best achieved by building up all students and providing services that best meets individual needs. That means bring CA’s state revenue stream up to a reasonable level to provide for all students." The State of California has the highest revenue stream of all time. And CHOOSES to underfund K- 12 so that it can create new entitlements for people who have entered this country illegally. If … Read More

      “And a just, equitable, and “adequate” education for all students is best achieved by building up all students and providing services that best meets individual needs. That means bring CA’s state revenue stream up to a reasonable level to provide for all students.”

      The State of California has the highest revenue stream of all time. And CHOOSES to underfund K- 12 so that it can create new entitlements for people who have entered this country illegally.

      If you think American citizens (irrespective of their wealth , race or ethnicity) are going to accept that their children attend over crowded schools and accept furlough days to make sure teachers receive their COLA you have lost your collective minds.

      Capistrano Unified School District which always prides itself as being the “highest performing large school district in the state” now has English language Learners performing at the same level as Whites in math readiness as ELL. So we are now equally poor as a result of wealth distribution. CONGRATULATIONS to everyone in education.

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      "The CA Master Plan for Education states that the intent (or one of them) of the community college system is to provide willing students with a second opportunity to pick up what they might not have picked up in high school" LCAP DATA for Capsitrano Unified School District in Orange County - a "wealthy suburban school district" 39% of the Students graduating from CUSD are ready for College level courses in English Language Arts. 99% of English … Read More

      “The CA Master Plan for Education states that the intent (or one of them) of the community college system is to provide willing students with a second opportunity to pick up what they might not have picked up in high school”

      LCAP DATA for Capsitrano Unified School District in Orange County – a “wealthy suburban school district”

      39% of the Students graduating from CUSD are ready for College level courses in English Language Arts. 99% of English Language Learners are unprepared for college level course-work in English Language Arts.

      23% of the Students graduating from CUSD are ready for College level courses in Mathematics. 22% of English Language Learners are prepared for college level course-work in Mathematics.

      54% of Students Complete A-G Requirements by Graduation By Senior Year only 59% of Students are on Track to Graduate

      CUSD has 4,035 High School Freshman – 81.5% are on track to graduate with that number dropping to 59% by 11th Grade

      50.2% of CUSD Graduates attend Community College. Only 39% of CUSD graduates enter a 4-year college or university. Of the 39% less than 10% are attending a selective 4- year private university or college.

      Of those students who do attend College 61% need remedial coursework in English Language Arts before they can begin college level coursework. Only 1% of CUSD English Language Learners demonstrate a readiness for college-level course-work in English Language Arts.

      Of those students who are attending college 77% need remedial coursework in Math before they can begin college level coursework.

      Source: March 26, 2014 Board Meeting Agenda Item #4 “Data for the Local Control Accountability Plan” http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/1463621950735616281.pdf Agenda Item #4 – Exhibit 4

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn: All children who are in CA's schools are there legally. You should go back and read the legal analysis you wanted everybody else to read. It supports the underlying principles of LCFF as did the Revenue Limit Income funding program based on the requirements of Serrano v. Priest. Those principles are that school funding should be "equalized" between high wealth and low wealth areas and schools (even if it did not ultimately accomplish that). Serrano was … Read More

      Dawn:

      All children who are in CA’s schools are there legally. You should go back and read the legal analysis you wanted everybody else to read. It supports the underlying principles of LCFF as did the Revenue Limit Income funding program based on the requirements of Serrano v. Priest. Those principles are that school funding should be “equalized” between high wealth and low wealth areas and schools (even if it did not ultimately accomplish that).

      Serrano was a judges ruling interpreting what the CA Constitution requires. Find an analysis here: http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/2-Timar(3-07).pdf

      Governor Brown expressed the moral and legal underpinnings of LCFF with words to the effect: Equal funding to schools and children operating under very different conditions is not “equal.” Again, CA’s fundamental problems relate to underspending on all necessary programs and services because of lack of revenue.

      Your overly zealous preoccupation with kids and/or adults who don’t speak English does not seem to allow you to wrap your mind around the issues. BTW, those kids and/or adults aren’t going anywhere soon. It behooves us all to educate them as best we can.

      • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        You know Dawn, reparations were never paid so we are all here illegally. You complain of illegals, but we forced them to take a few million at the barrel of a gun for land worth trillions. It is hard for most of us to get mad about illegal immigration considering this. Look at these quotes: Joshua Giddings led a group of dissenters in Washington D.C. He called the war with Mexico "an aggressive, … Read More

        You know Dawn, reparations were never paid so we are all here illegally. You complain of illegals, but we forced them to take a few million at the barrel of a gun for land worth trillions. It is hard for most of us to get mad about illegal immigration considering this. Look at these quotes:

        Joshua Giddings led a group of dissenters in Washington D.C. He called the war with Mexico “an aggressive, unholy, and unjust war,” and voted against supplying soldiers and weapons. He said:

        In the murder of Mexicans upon their own soil, or in robbing them of their country, I can take no part either now or hereafter. The guilt of these crimes must rest on others. I will not participate in them.[35]

        Fellow Whig Abraham Lincoln contested the causes for the war and demanded to know exactly where Thornton had been attacked and American blood shed. “Show me the spot,” he demanded. Whig leader Robert Toombs of Georgia declared:

        This war is nondescript…. We charge the President with usurping the war-making power … with seizing a country … which had been for centuries, and was then in the possession of the Mexicans…. Let us put a check upon this lust of dominion. We had territory enough, Heaven knew.[36]

      • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

        Gary – The State of California has its highest revenues of all time. So why is that money being used to start new entitlement programs and fund a train while our students are not being adequately funded?

        My District was just forced to hire some new teachers because they are facing $1.8 million in fines for having overcrowded classrooms. We have some classes with 40 kids per class.

        • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          That is true. We should spend on education before entitlement.

  3. Cynthia Eagleton 2 years ago2 years ago

    I just came across this article which talks in good detail about my point that the places that most needed Adult Ed lost it: http://toped.svefoundation.org/2011/08/08/californias-budget-woes-hit-neediest-students-the-hardest/ Here's a quote from it: "But flexibility is supposed to help better serve student needs, not to facilitate underserving the neediest students. The fact is the state’s education funding cuts, when combined with the new flexibility, have led to high-poverty schools reducing and eliminating critical programs and services at far greater rates than … Read More

    I just came across this article which talks in good detail about my point that the places that most needed Adult Ed lost it:

    http://toped.svefoundation.org/2011/08/08/californias-budget-woes-hit-neediest-students-the-hardest/

    Here’s a quote from it:

    “But flexibility is supposed to help better serve student needs, not to facilitate underserving the neediest students.

    The fact is the state’s education funding cuts, when combined with the new flexibility, have led to high-poverty schools reducing and eliminating critical programs and services at far greater rates than low-poverty schools.”

    I think we need to really think about whether or not flexibility was the wisest choice. We may find ourselves in difficult straits in the future. If so, understanding the impact of our recent choices will help us make better choices in the future.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Cynthia, with LCFF and the termination of most categorical programs, the idea of flexibility has become obsolete. The remaining ones like special ed, probably the largest, isn't flexible by the strict student requirements for program identification. I don't dispute the value of well run adult education programs. But why do today's public school children have to pay from their limited pot of education funds to serve adults, most of whom already had the opportunity … Read More

      Cynthia, with LCFF and the termination of most categorical programs, the idea of flexibility has become obsolete. The remaining ones like special ed, probably the largest, isn’t flexible by the strict student requirements for program identification.

      I don’t dispute the value of well run adult education programs. But why do today’s public school children have to pay from their limited pot of education funds to serve adults, most of whom already had the opportunity for K12 education? This is a matter of funding adult ed without further aggravating “the split” between K12 and community colleges. From my understanding very little adult education is delivered from K12 school facilities, at least here in SF. It seems that the programs are entirely distinct from the delivery of K12 education and the funding should be to.

      It is an insult for Debra Jones to refer to the additional funding for Adult Ed as a gift when it’s more like stealing, coming straight from the Prop 98 funds for K12 education like it does, according to the LAO budget report. You don’t give gifts with the people’s money.
      And as this is K12 funding why is the community college chancellor deciding along with the SSPI how to use K12 funding?

      • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

        California should not give $1 to adult ed until it funds a basic education for every K-12 now pre-K – 12 education for every student in Claiofrnia. CLose the adult ed or quit creating new entitlement programs for people who enter this country illegally.

    • Cynthia Eagleton 2 years ago2 years ago

      Hi, Don... let's see if I can respond to some of your points. first, yes, flex is "over." I am suggesting that we should look back at the choice to enact it, assess its efficacy, consequences, etc. so that if we are in such straits in the future, we know whether or not to reach for flex in our bag of tricks. i'm 54 and at 54 I know you gotta look at what you do … Read More

      Hi, Don…

      let’s see if I can respond to some of your points.

      first, yes, flex is “over.” I am suggesting that we should look back at the choice to enact it, assess its efficacy, consequences, etc. so that if we are in such straits in the future, we know whether or not to reach for flex in our bag of tricks.

      i’m 54 and at 54 I know you gotta look at what you do as you go along, so that you know whether to “try that again” in the future.

      regarding SF and k12. most adult ed, till flex, was delivered by k12. now… that gets complicated. so i’m going to refer you to the commentary piece by Kristen Pursley and Karen Arthur publishes by Edsource recently. here’s a link: http://edsource.org/2014/adult-schools-need-dedicated-funding/70129#.VL2p-pV0zCk

      Also, regarding all the in’s and out’s of K12 versus CC, there’s nothing better than Kristen’s recent series of post on her Save Your Adult School blog to lend a little clarification. all 3 posts can be found here:
      http://adulteducationmatters.blogspot.com/2014/12/must-read-syas-blog-post-series-on.html

      Regarding San Francisco, yes, different animal. I’m pretty well acquainted with the beast since I live in SF, work for a K12 adult school on the peninsula, and have friends who work in one, the other, or both systems. I’m not against CCSF’s non-credit programs. They are fine. so are the non-credit programs in San Diego and the few other places they are offered in large amount. Like the 2012 LAO Report, I’m against putting everything inside the CC system. both systems work, are already in place, and… the secret no one wants to talk about… the k12 adult school are cheaper, in part because we k12 teachers make less than our CC counterparts. I never brought that up because it seemed poor form. but… it’s true.

      in any case… it’s okay with me that we’re all in this together. we all do good things. let us keep on doing them!

      a note on CCSF… as you know, they have been through the ringer… and currently all kinds of “stuff” is going on in the ESL department there… stuff that is not good for the non-credit side. stuff that sort of looks like maybe someone/something is getting ready to make non-credit less somethingerother. stuff that would be bad for the non-credit ESL students. it’s in process but… I don’t think it’s “good.”

      also… the student success task force. that switched things up in all kinds of ways that are also a hot mess and which don’t get a lot of airplay. that’s why folks at Cabrillo College made this video: http://youtu.be/kMl03UAmgj0?list=PLCrvemwjZ7TXuqLNor0_ZQI37MTb7plWe

      the rules for repeatability changed for community colleges changed. that makes things complicated for non-credit… which is, in essence, “adult education” inside the community college system.

      I know… it’s sooooooooooooo complicated and confusing sometimes. I get it. I am a third generation public ed person. at about age 5, I learned to tune out these policy discussions at the dinner table. school boards, prop 13, curriculum, sacramento, blahblahlblah it was the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher for me till I grew up and got into the field myself and then suddenly I would call my mom and say, “mom! tell me again about blah and blah! when did that start? and why did this happen? and who started that?”

      I think sometimes people get frustrated with the messiness and the complexity and they want “clean lines.” it’s like they have been sitting in a warm and comfortable but cluttered family room with a lot of magazines and a big easy chair but also maybe two of something PLUS those houseplants! who brought them in here?! and suddenly the tired person says, “out! this is all going out today! we’re going to Ikea NOW! we’re buying chrome! it will be great! i’m sick of this crap!” and they throw out everything and they bring in 3 sticks of furniture and they sit there and they think… “goldarnit… I wish I had my easy chair! and that plant!” you have to be careful when you get into reform. you have to think reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll carefully. because reform is like marriage. you know the saying, “marry in haste, repent in leisure.”

      we’ve been married to prop 13 for how long now?

      i’d say it’s time for a divorce! or something!

      as to “k12’s money.” hmmmmm… I don’t know that I see adult ed money as “belonging to k12.” it was.. adult ed’s… money. and that money was entrusted to districts… and protected from them using/borrowing it… that’s what made it a categorical. this was a win-win because adult schools support families and communities which support k12 children. PLUS… newsflash… not all k12 kids graduate. I know. shocker. but they don’t. so some of them need GEDs or high school diplomas or job skills or whathaveyou.

      but… as we know… in the crush of the crash… Arnold decided to make it okay for k12 school boards to use adult school money as bandaids, blood donors, whatever you want to call them. staunch the bleeding and slap on guaze.

      really… the money.. all of it… is “the people’s.” we’re all paying tax. yes, even us renters like myself. and many of us, like me, voted for prop 30. and many of us, like me, campaigned for prop 30. and many of us, like me, would love to see California join the ranks of Texas and Alaska and all the other oil-birthing states and tax the stuff that comes out of our ground! good golly! what is up with THAT?! why do we not have an oil severance tax when Texas does? there’s a story there somewhere.

      now… something else not always mentioned… is the strange campaign that some folks ran to put all adult ed inside the CC system. why? I don’t fully know. maybe, with all their hearts, they thought it was a good idea. maybe… and I hate to say that this is very possible because I grew up listening to people endlessly discuss education including this stuff… but you know…I kinda think it’s possible… sometimes… very occasionally…. people do things like look at some money… some kind of funding source… and they say hey! that looks useful! I could use that! and then they mount a campaign for it. I know that’s hard to imagine. and yet… it happens.

      here are a few chapters in the story of people who thought all adult ed should go inside the CC system (and I don’t think they were all motivate by uh.. you know… the g word… I think some of them truly thought it was a good idea… maybe along the lines of the clean Ikea living room… or maybe because they like things higher in the hierarchy… but for whatever reason… they truly thought it would work out better for all concerned… ):

      http://www.ccleague.org/files/public/Publications/FacingMillennium.pdf – this one is from the Community College League and dates back to 1993.

      http://www.asccc.org/resolutions/assign-responsibility-adult-education-california-community-colleges – this one is from the Community College Academic Senate in 2012

      http://www.cappsonline.org/news/1216-expanding-the-role-of-community-colleges-in-adult-school-programs
      Here’s a quote from that one: “Adult education is extraordinarily important and has to be preserved,” Drown said. “Legislators are aware of this and will become more aware as more districts cut adult education. They told us, let’s start slowly with the campuses that want to do it. Build on positive examples such as City College of San Francisco and San Diego Community College.”

      my last bit is… and I think I mentioned this in other posts… children are not raised by schools. they’re just not. they are raised by families and communities. I guess in our culture which so often thinks about things in terms of monetary worth – you know even being sick is measured in “time lost and monetary impact on the job/industry/profit”… where everything is categorized… and where… I think this is okay to say out loud on MLK day… some folks have more privilege than others and the groups with less privilege often… surprise! “perform” less well than the privilege folks… and the cause of that if said… out loud or in covert ways… to be somehow found in the problematic, scary, under-performing, dysfunctional families of those under-performing children… not in the system which has a lot of hierarchy…. in such a culture… I guess it’s not surprising that the solution to the problems… the under-performance… of these children… is to remove them from their scary, dysfunctional, under-performing families and communities and put them in longer and longer school days… in “community schools” which might even come with a dentist!… rather than honoring, supporting, and VALUING the families and communities from which these children spring.

      and… part of valuing something or someone is spending money on it/them. that’s why we buy food and gifts for our loved ones. we value them. so… spending money on the parents and grandparents and family members and neighbors of school kids… making sure ESL and job training and citizenship and computer skills and all the other good stuff that Adult Ed offers… is a way to honor, support, and value their children.

      you might want to give this book a gander: http://jareddiamond.org/Jared_Diamond/The_World_Until_Yesterday.html

      or a listen if you prefer audiobooks like my daughter does.

      what we think is “normal”… what think is the way things “have to” or “should” be. no. never. really.

      always… we are making choices. always… we are making them with glasses that filter our perceptions and create blindspots even as they clear a field of vision. it’s the just the way it is.

      and that… is why I think it’s so important that we begin to look backwards now… at the choices we’ve made… not to sit in judgement of ourselves as a people… but to love ourselves as a people. a truly loving people will look at the past in order to understand it…because only in looking fearlessly at the past and the present… can you make the best possible choices for the future.

      okay… I don’t pretend to have all the answers… but those are my thoughts.

      so far! 😉

  4. Cynthia Eagleton 2 years ago2 years ago

    Such good news and thanks for the great article. I was doing a bit of Googling this evening, looking back over how we got here. Here is the official letter that the Director of Oakland Adult and Career Ed posted in June 2010 to inform the community that most of the its programs were about to be closed down: http://www.ousd.k12.ca.us/Page/1252 So deeply sad to read that. And here's an article … Read More

    Such good news and thanks for the great article.

    I was doing a bit of Googling this evening, looking back over how we got here. Here is the official letter that the Director of Oakland Adult and Career Ed posted in June 2010 to inform the community that most of the its programs were about to be closed down: http://www.ousd.k12.ca.us/Page/1252 So deeply sad to read that.

    And here’s an article about what happened in Berkeley: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2009-06-25/article/33221?headline=More-Cuts-On-the-Way-for-School-District-Adult-Education–By-Riya-Bhattacharjee

    In so many ways, the Governor’s proposal for Adult Ed seems like LCFF for Adult Ed. I support the idea of giving more money to where it’s needed most.

    I also shake my head in sadness that to great degree, where Adult Ed was most needed, it was not able to survive.

    Could things have been handled differently? I think it’s important to think about that. We can’t change the past – but we can learn from it.

    Economies rise and fall. Things are better now – and that’s great. But they may fall again. If they do, how will we respond?

    Brown likes to take the long view – and that’s great, too. That is why, he tells us, he’s a saver. He likes to keep a little something in a Rainy Day Fund because rain is surely gonna come.

    But… when it does… how do we spend that special-open-only-in-disaster-money?

    At some point, I think we need to think about all this.

    How did we get here?

    And do we want to return?

    One important point I hope we absorb as we move forward… is that children are part of families and communities. They are raised not by schools but by parents, grandparents, neighborhoods. The idea that we can choose between children and adults is misleading, as any parent will tell you. Sure, in an emergency, I would give my life for my child. But up until that point, I know that part of what keeps my child alive is me… me functioning, me healthy, me able to work and parent well.

    Using K12 Adult Schools as the blood donors for K12 Schools was not what I would a call a real success story.

    Again, I know we can’t change the past – but we can learn from it.

    Adult Schools, in so many ways, are the champions of second chances. Our secret is that we know that in every disaster, every failure, every obstacle, every foiled attempt to move forward are the seeds to tomorrow’s success. We just need to look for them.

    (Watering and tending are good, too!)

    Thanks again for the great article.

  5. Pamela Gulli 2 years ago2 years ago

    Thank you Susan for covering this great news! Great contributions and detail. I am amazed at this opportunity, a gift from above, and the governor. As an ESL instructor at Azusa Adult School and Claremont Adult School participating in the consortia has been challenging, yet good. We have been able to foster relationship with Citrus Community College and our communities. We all need each other to connect the pathways in … Read More

    Thank you Susan for covering this great news! Great contributions and detail. I am amazed at this opportunity, a gift from above, and the governor. As an ESL instructor at Azusa Adult School and Claremont Adult School participating in the consortia has been challenging, yet good. We have been able to foster relationship with Citrus Community College and our communities. We all need each other to connect the pathways in order to best serve the changing needs of this diverse group of people. With the new DMV laws for immigrants and increased migration time for Chinese residents, this need will continue to grow. I am relieved the governor has seen fit to support this need rather than stifle it. Dedicated funding…..we believe in it ! Pamela Gulli

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      This is a gift that should never have been given – and a gift that the Governor is not entitled to give.

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