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School Administrators Support Dual Delivery System for Adult Educaton

Posted on 02/22/2013


In a position paper External link opens in new window or tab on the Governor's 2013-14 budget proposal the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) has said it "opposes the governor's proposal to shift responsibility for delivering adult education services from K-12 and community colleges to only community colleges." ACSA instead supports an improved "dual system" of adult education delivery.

In spite of "an ongoing lack of definition of education responsibilities" between the two systems, ACSA says that the current dual system, through collaboration, has been successful in serving adult learners. Though there is no mandate to coordinate efforts, ACSA notes that coordination between the two systems does take place.

"The services that are provided locally do not fit nicely into boxes easily understood at the state policy or fiscal level," notes the ACSA paper. "There continues to be a lack of understanding as to the different students who are being served, the challenges of reaching California's divergent population, and the programs offered to maximize the economic return on investment. For example, there are many adults who need basic skills who will never attend a community college without going to a K-12 Adult Education school first. In addition, adult education programs are offered locally to the students and at any time of the year."

Class availability is a major concern should adult education be moved to a community college only delivery system. Many adult learners may not have ready access to community colleges, and the community college class approval process may mean classes will not be ready. Adult learners thrive on the flexibility that the current system provides. There are also concerns regarding the community colleges' "capacity to offer adult education courses."

ACSA is recommending "that the Legislature and Governor build on the strengths of the two Adult Education systems including strengthening the delineation of functions and building partnerships that work best for local communities."