SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
After the Legislature taking action and passing the budget on the constitutionally mandated date of June 15th, Governor Jerry Brown last week signed the state budget for FY 2016-2017. The approved budget at $167 billion includes $122.5 billion in General Fund spending, $44.6 billion in special fund spending, and $3.6 billion in bond spending. Overall, the budget package continues to focus on the Governor's interest in fiscal stability by doubling the state's Rainy Day Fund, continuing to pay down debt, increasing school funding and boosting programs to combat poverty and homelessness. Other significant components include:
Boost Rainy Day Fund, Pay Debt - adds an extra $2 billion to the required $1.3 billion deposit, bringing total reserves to $6.7 billion (54% of goal); directs $1.75 billion to the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties; and directs $1.3 billion to pay down debt and liabilities
Investing in Education - Increases the minimum funding guarantee for K-12 and community colleges to $71.9 billion including per K-12 funding to $10,643 and $2.9 billion in new funding to Local Control Funding Formula
Counteracting Poverty - Includes the statutorily increased minimum wage adjustment to $10.50 per hour in 2017; cost-of-living increases for Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment; repeals the maximum family grant rule in CalWORKs; and limits the state's asset recovery from the estates of deceased Medi-Cal recipients
Reducing Housing Costs - Provides $3.6 billion in funding and awards authority for affordable housing and homelessness programs, such as CalWORKs and emergency homeless shelters; sets aside $400 million for allocation at a later date for affordable housing programs; authorizes a $2 billion bond from a portion of future Proposition 63 mental health revenues for homelessness and affordable housing programs for the mentally ill and more
Strengthening Infrastructure - Includes $2 billion for state infrastructure improvements and maintenance, $1.3 billion for state buildings, $270 million in lease-revenue bond authority for local jails; and $688 million for critical deferred maintenance at state levees, parks, universities, community colleges, prisons, hospitals and other facilities
Specific to adult education, we were able to secure a few beneficial enhancements to the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG). The enhancements to AEBG were contained within trailer bill AB 1602 (Budget), as follows:
Enhances language under AEBG rules and procedures to ensure a requirement that, in its decision-making process, the consortium consider input provided by pupils, teachers employed by local educational agencies, community college faculty, principals, administrators, classified staff, and the local bargaining units of the school districts and community college districts before it makes a decision;
Requires a member, if chosen to be the fiscal agent of a consortium, to commit to developing a process to apportion funds to each member of the consortium pursuant to the consortium's plan within 45 days of receiving funds appropriated for the program;
Requires the chancellor and the Superintendent to submit preliminary reports on or before October 30th following each fiscal year for which funds are appropriated, and final reports on or before February 1st of the following year regarding the use of available funds and outcomes for adults statewide and in each adult education region;
No later than August 1, 2017, requires the chancellor and the Superintendent to report to the Director of Finance, the State Board of Education, and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature on options for integrating the assessments described above into a specified common assessment system, compliance of the assessments with federal and state funding requirements for adult education programs, estimated costs and timelines for the assessments, and changes in policies that may be needed to avoid duplicate assessments;
Appropriates, for the 2016-17 fiscal year, $5,000,000 from the General Fund to the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges for allocation via joint decision by the chancellor and the Superintendent to a community college district, school district, county office of education, or adult education consortium to provide statewide leadership for community college districts and local educational agencies participating in the Adult Education Block Grant Program for FYs 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19;
With regard to the level of funding for the AEBG, we did not see an increase in funding granted for the next fiscal year - not unexpected. Although we have been talking with the Department of Finance (DOF) and Legislature for the last year on the need to grow the pot of funds, they were not inclined to do so for FY 16-17. The rationale was based on a few key factors - 1) AEBG is only one year old and they want to monitor progress for another year; 2) AEBG funding in some regions wasn't distributed until the end of the school year; and 3) DOF continues to be concerned about future revenues with a projected return of recessionary conditions within the next year to eighteen months.
All of this said, we'll be continuing the push for additional funding as part of the FY 17-18 budget cycle. More to come on that front in the coming months...
In addition to the AB 1602 provisions related to AEBG, it also contained a framework and funding for the Strong Workforce Initiative/Program under the community college system. The Program would be provided $200 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Fund to expand the availability of quality CTE and workforce development courses, pathways, and programs resulting in certificates, degrees, and other credentials. Under the Program, community colleges would coordinate CTE programs within 14 regions identified under the state's implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These regions would create "collaboratives" of community college districts, local education agencies, interested CSU and UC campuses, civic representatives, workforce development boards, representatives from the organized labor community, and economic development and industry sector leaders. Collaboratives would meet at least annually to develop four-year plans to meet regional workforce education needs. These plans would include a needs assessment based on regional labor market analyses, efforts to coordinate existing programs in the region, student success goals, and work plans for meeting regional priorities. Funding would be distributed to a college in each region acting as a fiscal agent; that college would distribute funding to other colleges within the region based on the plan. The allocation would reflect each region's share of the state's: (1) unemployment, (2) CTE enrollment, (3) projected job openings, and (4) after the first year, successful performance outcomes. The Chancellor's Office could reserve up to 5 percent of annual program funding for statewide coordination activities. The proposal calls for the Chancellor's Office to align the performance measures, to the extent possible, with federal WIOA performance measures. (These include measures of degree and certificate completion, employment, and earnings.) Collaboratives would set measurable goals for performance in each of these areas and provide annual updates of their progress in meeting the goals. Beginning January 1, 2018, the Chancellor would be required to report annually to the Governor and Legislature on each region's performance outcomes (disaggregated for underserved demographic groups). As part of these reports, the Chancellor would be required to provide recommendations for program improvement and for future allocations to collaboratives based on program outcomes. The Chancellor's Office would be required to develop recommendations, including policies, regulations, and guidance necessary to facilitate sharing of best practices and curricula across colleges, streamline course and curriculum approval, and eliminate barriers to hiring qualified instructors (including reevaluating the required minimum qualifications for CTE instructors), among other efforts. The Chancellor would present the recommendations to the Board of Governors by June 30, 2017. 60% of funding will go directly to colleges, with 40% going to regional consortia. Language also requires consortia to collaborate with regional workforce partners, report on one-time versus ongoing spending, and encourages consortia to work with programs and providers that seek to improve workforce outcomes for the developmentally 16 disabled. Funding will be based on a formula that includes local unemployment rate, the region's proportion of CTE full-time equivalent students, projected job openings, and proportion of successful workforce outcomes.
Does this framework sound familiar? It should...
While CCAE and CAEAA raised concerns with an entirely new and yet strikingly duplicative framework being developed outside of the regional consortia under AEBG, we are unfortunately not able to access the funding as it is being provided as part of the community colleges' share of Proposition 98 - outside of K-12 funding. Despite not having access to the funding going forward, we were successful in including trailer bill language that, to avoid duplication of effort, requires activities funded under the Strong Workforce Program to be informed by, aligned with, and expanding upon the activities of existing workforce and education regional partnerships, including those partnership activities that pertain to regional planning efforts established pursuant to WIOA, AEBG consortia, and K-12 career technical education programs. Additionally, the language requires these regions to collaborate with other public institutions, including, but not limited to, local educational agencies, adult education consortia, local workforce development boards, and interested California State University and University of California institutions.
Being aware of this Program is very important from our perspective as AEBG consortia look at budget allocations. Recall, under AEBG Education Code Section § 84905(b) a condition of joining a consortium is that each member "shall commit to reporting any funds available to that member for the purposes of education and workforce services for adults and the uses of those funds." As you'll remember, CCAE and CAEAA fought hard for this language to be included so as to help consortium members better prioritized the use of the precious AEBG resources for those needs that weren't otherwise being funded by other pots of money members may have access to. In this case, consortia members across the state should be aware that this funding is available to community college partners that could, arguably, help free up AEBG dollars for K-12 needs that are not currently being funded. Of note, however, these are local decisions and it is critical consortia members understand that these are decisions to be discussed and addressed at the local level not at the state level.
Moving Forward - Fee Authority, Administrative Cap, Concurrent Students & SB 786 (Allen)
As we move forward in a post-AB 104 adult education era, we will undoubtedly become aware of components that need to be adjusted and/or reworked. Some of the initial items we identified mid-summer needing legislative engagement included reinstating fee authority for ESL and citizenship programs and clarifying the interpretation of the 5% administrative cap.
As you may recall, AB 189 passed in 2011 provided fee authority for adult schools to charge fees for classes in ESL and citizenship. The caveat was that it was a time-limited authority that expired as of July 2015. Going forward, there is no longer the authority for adult schools to charge fees for these classes. I've heard from many of you that this is incredibly problematic and is in direct conflict with the overarching intent and priority in this year's budget to maintain capacity in the adult school system.
In an effort to address the concern, CCAE and CAEAA attempted to have bill language introduced that would have reinstated the fee authority until such time as the broader fee policy is established for adult education. Unfortunately, there was no willingness to entertain the extension of the fee authority. Instead, we were told that we needed to work with our consortia to access the funds over and above the maintenance of capacity funding to help fill the gap.
This is certainly not the outcome we had hoped would come to fruition. Given this, however, it is important for adult schools to be mindful that there is no fix on the horizon. The caveat is that CDE and the Chancellor's office are required to develop recommendations for a statewide fee policy for adult education. We will be engaging in the development of the policy to see what opportunity there might be to address this issue. Obviously, that process will not be a quick process nor will it result in reinstatement of the fee authority this school year.
Whether or not anything comes of the statewide fee policy discussion, it will be important for adult schools to keep information and data going forward on the number of students going unserved because of the gap in funds, the numbers on waiting lists around the state for these (and other) classes, and limitations faced. If nothing else, this information will provide the basis for fighting for greater resources and an increase in the adult education block grant in the coming budget years.
Regarding the issue of clarity on the 5% administrative cap, recall AB 104 included language as follows:
Education Code Section 84913
(b) A consortium may use no more than 5 percent of funds allocated in a given fiscal year for the sum of the following:
(1) The costs of administration of these programs.
(2) The costs of the consortium.
While we supported an administrative cap being placed on consortia related activities, we were concerned with the lack of clarity regarding this language in that it would seemingly place the same cap on costs associated with adult schools delivering programs. A strict interpretation of the cap would unquestionably devastate most adult schools and hinder the ability to deliver programs that ensure the best outcomes. What would such an administrative cap include? What was the intent of the Department of Finance and Legislature in including such a provision? We went to work to better understand the intent and overall parameters for such a cap. Based on conversations with legislative staff, they seem to be comfortable with the general approach CDE and the Chancellor's office are proposing that would not include the following items under the cap:
- Salaries and benefits (for all staff and a consortium facilitator/staff person)
- Maintenance and custodial supplies
- Instructional Support including materials, supplies, technology and equipment
- Services including contracts, professional development, marketing and outreach, internships and externships
Legislative staff suggests moving forward with the understanding that these items are outside the cap and would be allowable. Should there be a need to adjust the language or provide further clarity the Legislature is open to doing so in future legislative and/or budget activities.
On the subject of concurrent credit recovery for students, let's be clear - adult schools can absolutely continue to offer credit recovery for students under 18. The caveat - they may not be served with Adult Education Block Grant funds. We know many adult schools have provided great value to their districts by providing credit recovery opportunities for high school students under 18 years of age. They can continue to do so, but must do so with other resources such those from LCFF. The statute clearly provides that resources from the adult education block grant must go to serve adults - individuals 18 years of age and over. With regard to the validity of such credits, it is our understanding that such a determination is an individual school district issue. To the extent that a local school district accepts the credits obtained through an adult school credit recovery program funded with LCFF dollars for the purpose of a high school diploma, then the diploma should be accepted by other programs as well.
Finally, there has been much interest in SB 786 (Allen) related to the adult education block grant and joint powers authorities. The bill would have allowed joint powers authorities to access the adult education block grant if 40% of their career technical education (CTE) enrollment was made up of adults. The bill was held in Appropriations and as such the bill will no longer move forward. The bill came about to help address concerns raised by SoCal ROC. With the change in funding for ROCP programs being folded into the LCFF and funding for adults being pushed through the block grant, SoCal ROC was purportedly concerned about sustaining their programs without a direct source of funding. Their Senator, Senator Ben Allen, introduced the language to address his constituents' concerns. While the policy committees were amenable to pushing the bill forward, we're told the Department of Finance has been opposed to the bill and overall approach for some time.
While many CCAE and CAEAA members were amenable to the bill moving forward as it was seemingly structured to apply to just SoCal ROC, a number of members voiced concerns with what impact adding joint powers authorities to the mix of who is permitted to receive funds from the block grant would do to funding and planning activities that have already taken place - much less with such a limited pot of funds that are already spread too thin. The bill was ultimately held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
In terms of continuing to move forward, as you continue to work within your consortium and implement the changes per the adult education block grant please keep CCAE and CAEAA informed about issues you are facing so that we might have a better understanding about items that need to be addressed in legislation or budget bill language in the coming legislative sessions.
Over the last month, we've received a number of inquiries regarding the details surrounding the suspension of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) as a condition of receiving a high school diploma. As you know, the CAHSEE was intended to be aligned to the content standards for English language arts and mathematics that were adopted pursuant to the 1999 education reform package of bills. In 2010 the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which led to the development of new statewide assessments intended to be aligned to the new standards. However, concerns have grown over the fact that the CAHSEE is still aligned to the old standards.
The last administration of the CAHSEE was in May 2015, but the state contract has expired. The state opted not to renew the contract as a result of the introduction of SB 172 (Liu) this year that proposed to cancel the test while an advisory committee looks at future alternatives. Given the expiration of the contract, the test was no longer available to the Class of 2015 thereby prompting the gut and amend of SB 725 (Hancock) late this summer that removed the CAHSEE as a requirement for high school graduation for the 2015 year only on an urgency basis.
In late August, Governor Brown signed SB 725 (Hancock) while SB 172 (Liu) continued to move through the process.
More specifically, SB 172 suspends the requirement to pass CAHSEE as a condition of receiving a high school diploma from the 2003-04 school year through the 2017-18 school year, inclusive. Further, it also requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene an advisory panel to provide recommendations on the continuation of the CAHSEE and on alternative pathways to satisfy the high school graduation requirements. Under this provision, the Superintendent is required to provide these recommendations to the State Board of Education by March 2016 as part of the expansion of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The bill requires school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to grant diplomas to all students who have met all graduation requirements other than passing the exit exam through July 31, 2018.
More specifically, under SB 172 Education Code 60851.5. provides the following:
Notwithstanding Section 60851, the administration of the high school exit examination, and the requirement that each pupil completing grade 12 successfully pass the high school exit examination as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation or a condition of graduation from high school, shall be suspended for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 school years.
Additionally, SB 172 in Education Code Section 60851.6. (a) provides the following:
Notwithstanding Section 60851 or any other law, the governing board or body of a local educational agency, and the department on behalf of state special schools, shall grant a diploma of graduation from high school to any pupil who completed grade 12 in the 2003-04 school year or a subsequent school year and has met all applicable graduation requirements other than the passage of the high school exit examination.
Moving forward, it is important for adult schools work with their school districts to ensure that adult school students who are close to full credits for high school graduation/equivalency are defined as "12th grade" within their district policies.
The bill passed by houses of the Legislature this week and is now headed to the Governor's desk. More to come...
California Adult Education Administrators Association
Executive Board Members
Director, Pupil and Community Services
Montebello Unified School District
123 So. Montebello, CA 90640
Culver City Adult School
4909 Overland Ave.
Culver City, CA 90230
Cyndi Parulan-Colfer, Superintendent
15959 Gale Ave
City of Industry, CA 91745
Jodi Loeffler, Bakersfield Adult School
501 S. Mt Vernon Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93307
Bob Harper, Campbell Adult and Community
1224 Del Mar Ave
San Jose, CA 95128
||Member at Large
Joanne Durkee, Director
Adult and Career Education
Mt. Diablo Unified School District
1266 San Carlos Avenue
Concord, CA 94518
Rocky Bettar, Director
Adult Education/Career Preparation
Rowland Adult and Community Education
2100 Lerona Ave
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
P: (626) 965--5975
||Member at Large
Guthrie Burr, Berkeley Adult School
JoDee Styler, Corona-Norco Adult Education
300 Buena Vista Ave
Corona, CA 92336
||Member at Large
Donna Brashear, Administrator
||Member at Large
Dr. PaoLing Guo
Principal, ABC Adult School
12254 Cuesta Drive, Cerritos, CA 90703
(562) 926-6734 Ext. 25011
Cell: (562) 244-5949
CAEAA-CCAE Legislative Day
The CAEAA-CCAE State Annual Legislative Advocacy Day scheduled this year for Tuesday, March 24, 2015 is almost here! We hope you will join us at the State Capitol in Sacramento for this important annual event.
CAEAA-CCAE Legislative Day is sponsored by Burlington English and GED Testing Service
LEGISLATIVE DAY HOTEL
Be sure to make your hotel reservations to ensure you have a room. The group rate is $169 per night for March 23, 2015. For reservations, call 888-421-1442 or click on the following link:
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
1209 L Street
Sacramento, California 95814
LEGISLATIVE DAY SCHEDULE
CCAE and CAEAA Legislation Day Training
Monday, March 23, 2015
4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
CCAE and CAEAA Legislation Day Appointments
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Between 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
CCAE and CAEAA Legislation Day Follow-Up
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
ORGANIZE YOUR SCHOOL TEAM
It is recommended that your team consist of a good representation of administrators, teachers, classified staff and students. If there is another adult school in your area represented by the same legislator(s), please be sure to contact them to coordinate your visit and to schedule a joint meeting with your legislator(s). Be forewarned that the Capitol can be very busy with many visitors and other advocacy groups. Representatives’ offices (many if not most) are typically small and it can get quite crowded when more than 4 or 5 people are seated with a legislator and/or their staff in a small office!
When considering prospective school representatives, make sure they are constituents of your local legislators. Also, students who have transitioned from program to program in your school (example: ESL to ABE to CTE) or who are about to complete a program and join the workforce (such as a CTE student), are all great candidates. They need to be articulate but their English certainly doesn’t need to be advanced. If your student representatives are Citizenship Prep students who are in the process of being naturalized or have become citizens, so much the better! They should prepare (but not overly rehearse) what they want to share with their legislator, focusing specifically on how your adult school program is helping them achieve their personal/family, educational and/or professional goals.
If this is a first-time visit to the Capitol for any of your team and you have time between your appointments with legislators, it is recommended you plan an informal tour of the Capitol together. Both the Senate and Assembly Chambers (galleries) should be open and accessible without a Capitol tour guide. If time allows, you may want to consider a free guided tour.
SCHEDULE SENATOR AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER MEETINGS
Make appointments to meet your State Senate and State Assembly representatives on Tuesday, March 24th between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. If your representative is not available to personally meet you, ask to meet with their point-person on educational issues. This staff person is tasked with keeping your representative up-to-date on all educational issues, often making recommendations on what position should be taken on them. To make your appointments, contact your representative’s scheduler.
To find your state senator and their contact information, go to www.senate.ca.gov
. Go to the “Find My Senator” hot link in the middle of the home page to fill in your address, city and zip code.
To find your state assembly member and their contact information, go to www.assembly.ca.gov
. Scroll down to the bottom left of the home page to find the following links: “Find My Representative” and under this, “Assembly Roster”, “By Your Address” or “By Your District.”
Reminder: Make sure you and your neighboring adult schools, if represented by the same legislators, are not scheduling two separate meetings with the same legislators!