CFT Local 4681’s Resolution to Ensure that Adult Education Exists in Best and Fullest Capacity

CFT Local 4681, out of San Mateo Adult School, passed the following resolution:


Resolution to Ensure that Adult Education 
Exists in Best and Fullest Capacity

Whereas education is a human right for people of all ages, and
Whereas Adult Schools have been serving the people of California from every community, including those with the greatest needs and least resources, for over 150 years, and
Whereas, during the last recession, Adult Education was the only branch of public education in California which was nearly eliminated through a combination of funding cuts and allowing districts to take any and all adult school funds for other purposes (Categorial Flexibility), and
Whereas K-12 adult schools were saved only through the determined action of teachers, students, administrators, and their allies, and

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Whereas it was only as a result of this activism that the state recognized the need to fund adult education, which Governor Brown and the Legislative Analyst Office reorganized into a system of regional consortia that include K-12 adult schools and community college adult education, and

Whereas, as a result of the budget cuts and categorical flexibility, about 15% of adult schools in California were closed, reducing the number from 360 to around 300; in 2012-13 about 80 schools, though not all closed, received no state money from their districts; and all schools were reduced in size and scope, and

Whereas these cuts and closures were not distributed evenly, sometimes hitting hardest in areas of greatest need, such as rural areas and Oakland, which once served over 25,000 and now serves less than 1,200, and

Whereas adult schools are the most underfunded branch of public education, with community colleges currently receiving $7.7 billion for 2.1 million students, and K-12 adult schools in 2007-8, before budget cuts, having received $754 million for 1.2 million students, more than 1/2 the students but less than 1/10 the money, and
Whereas the funding for adult education has fallen to $500 million for K-12 adult schools and community college adult education together, and the number of students served has dropped to .56 million in K-12 adult schools and just over 1 million total, and
Whereas adult schools must now share this $500 million with community colleges under the new regional consortium system, and
Whereas this is adult schools� only source of state funding, without which they cannot exist, and

Whereas community colleges have billions of dollars in separate funding, which was increased in Governor Brown�s 2016 budget proposal, and
Whereas there is no increase for Adult Education, even though Governor Brown�s January 2016 Budget Proposal increases public school funding by $2.4 billion over the current year and more than $24 billion higher than at the depth of the recession, directing $71.6 billion, the greatest portion of California tax revenue, to education, and

Whereas there is no money dedicated to K-12 adult schools, so that funds can be taken or blocked by other entities, as is currently happening in Los Angeles, the largest adult education provider in the state, and
Whereas the previous adult education funding was through allocation and usually included a yearly COLA and the new funding is through a block grant which does not include a COLA to accommodate annual increased costs, and
Whereas it is detrimental to decrease or stagnate funding for Adult Education not only to adults and adult schools but also to children and the K-12 system, the greatest predictor of child success being the mother�s education level,  and
Whereas the need for adult education and therefore its funding, because of higher immigration, income inequality, and community instability, has increased, and

Whereas there are 15.3 million adults in the areas targeted by the state for adult education and the system currently serves over 1 million, leaving 14 million unserved, and

Whereas the Adult Education School system is the only educational system accessible to a sizeable part of the population of California with limited English language skills, and

Whereas adult schools once had a mission to provide a broad education to all adults, state funding has been narrowed to seven programs with a focus on workforce development, and
Whereas while the K-12 system is moving away from an emphasis on testing and toward critical thinking, Adult Education is being pushed in the opposite direction, and
Whereas the future of California depends not only on the number of people employed but also on their physical and mental health; civic, community and family engagement; and ability to think critically and prepare for 21st century political, economic, social, and environmental change, it is crucial that Adult Education be available to all adults and well-funded with a broad mission,

Therefore be it resolved that the CFT advocate for:

?       Increased funds for adult education sufficient to meet the need and, especially, more money for high need areas,
?       Funding for K-12 adult schools that cannot be taken or blocked by other entities,
?       A broad mission of educationin which adult schools promote the skills necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st-century and serve the whole person, the whole family, and therefore the community and the society, as an important, equal, and self-sufficient branch of public education,
?       The passage of legislation which supports any of these points.

Some of the members of CFT Local 4681

Back:  Elizabeth Yale, Pres Bruce Neuberger, Mary Peros, Lisa Dolehide, Betty Chen, VP David Doneff
Front:  Secretary Cynthia Eagleton, Shirley McMahon, Katherine Leiban

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