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State Budget Leads to More Cuts to Adult Ed Programs

Posted on 03/14/2012

Adult Education budget cuts

Adult Education in Los Angeles has been much in the news as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board struggles to come up with a balanced budget for the coming year. The school board voted on March 13 to completely eliminate adult education in Los Angeles if the worst case scenario state budget comes to pass, meaning no additional state funds and no tax increases approved by voters in November. The fate of LA's Division of Adult and Community Education (DACE) is significant to the entire state, as the district has served approximately 350,000 students annually, a larger adult education population than that of all but three states, and by far the largest program in California.

But Los Angeles is not the only adult education program in trouble. Recent news items highlight major cuts for Bellflower Adult School (www) where adult education may be eliminated entirely, and El Monte-Rosemead Adult School (www), where adult classes may be cut significantly. These proposed cuts, along with many others around the state, are being discussed and voted on now as districts prepare their budgets for 2012-13, and must send pink slips by March 15 to teachers who may be laid off next year. Last year, legislation promoted by the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) (www) and other advocacy groups, was passed, requiring districts to hold a public meeting to provide a forum for discussion of any proposed cuts to programs because of the flexibility of formerly designated categorical funds. These meetings are being held now, providing an opportunity for advocates for adult education to be heard.

Adult education in California faces an extremely challenging time as the state budget continues in the red. Governor Brown has proposed a weighted student funding formula for districts that would no longer designate funding for adult education, as well as many other categorical programs. This is currently in the proposal stage, and will be debated in the coming months.

OTAN informally collects links to news stories about budget cuts to adult education programs on the Budget Cuts Wiki (www). It now contains links to news about 106 agencies. If you have a link that you would like to see added, you may email the link to Branka Marceta, bmarceta@otan.us, or Marian Thacher, mthacher@otan.us.