Governor Announces Increased Investment in Adult EducationPosted on 01/12/2015
In what is being considered a victory for adult students across California, Governor Jerry Brown announced an increased investment in adult education as he presented his proposed state budget for fiscal year 2015-16.
"The most urgent priorities for this expanded funding are to stabilize the current system, ensure that current providers can keep their classrooms open in order to continue to serve adult students in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, and to begin building a new adult education system that embraces its breadth and diversity through real cooperation among partners," says the AB 86 Work Group .
"The new budget allows us to start right away on establishing the adult education system that California needs and the governor wants. With this funding, the system will be reshaped with more choices for adults to build skills that earn them a living, lifting many Californians out of poverty."
According to the summary document , the proposal provides $500 million Proposition 98 General Fund for a newly created Adult Education Block Grant, which the Administration is characterizing as an "integral component of the state's workforce development strategy." The Block Grant will fund adult education programs in elementary and secondary basic skills; classes and courses in citizenship and English as a second language for immigrants; education programs for adults with disabilities; short-term CTE programs linked to occupations with high employment potential; and programs for apprentices. To administer the block grant, the Administration is proposing that each adult education consortium designate an allocation board responsible for planning and allocating the funds. The Chancellor of the Community Colleges and the Superintendent of Public Instruction will jointly approve allocations of funds.
In a statement to the media , Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson also praised the Governor's budget proposal. "The extra money under Proposition 98 is good news for schools across the state. I am also very pleased with the additional funds to help maintain and expand career technical education programs; implement the Local Control Funding Formula and the rigorous new California state standards in mathematics, English language arts, and science; upgrade technology and connect schools to the Internet; and maintain adult education programs across the state."
The Governor's budget proposal begins the long budget process which should result in a final budget passed by the Legislature by June 30. OTAN will report here and in the Updates on CA State Budget area of the OTAN Web site as the budget process progresses.