|The Voice of Adult Education in California|
Dear CCAE Members,
I am particularly pleased to be working with so many dedicated adult educators at this important time. Since its founding in 1944, CCAE has had dedicated members working for the improvement and preservation of adult education. If you have not yet gotten involved because you do not know what to do, it is not too late. Please read the legislative update from CCAE Legislative Advocate, Dawn Koepke, for the latest information.
On a related note, as you are likely aware, on October 23rd, CCAE held it's second legislative webinar which hosted nearly 200 participants! You can access the webinar link here.
I look forward to working together with you, in support of our Adult Education programs, so that we can continue to help adults in our communities reach their goals.
CCAE Executive Director
The Countdown Begins
The countdown has begun—11 weeks to the release of the January FY 15-16 budget proposal that will provide insight in to the future of adult education. While we believe we have made significant headway with the Department of Finance (DOF) this fall, we are not likely to know the details until the proposal is released, January 9th. This is certainly unnerving for us all, without question. Nevertheless, we put a strong strategic advocacy plan in place to help impact the outcome and are feeling very good about it. At the local level you have stepped up in a big way - garnering support from your superintendents, boards, community, elected officials, and more. At the state level, we have also been working hard to put together a strong coalition to support K12 adult education and fight for a budget plan that ensures stability for the K12 system ahead of the March 15th layoff notice deadline. We've held countless meetings with stakeholders, elected officials, legislative budget and policy staff, DOF, and more.
In terms of the key issues we've been focused on, they include:
We believe these are critical components of a workable January budget proposal. As a matter of fact, we have prepared and put forth our own CCAE and CAEAA proposal that addresses these key issues in a manner that is consistent with the goals of the Administration and DOF - win / win! Our proposal would provide for FY 15-16 to be a transition year whereby roughly $350 million would be taken from the DOF-proposed $500 million pot to maintain capacity in the K12 system - first and foremost. This will help ensure stability for existing capacity in K12 adult schools by giving school districts a clear sense of what they can expect to include in their FY 15-16 budgets for adult education and avoid the need to issue layoff notices by the March 15th deadline. The $150 million leftover would go towards addressing the needs and gaps outlined in the AB 86 regional plans across the state. Certainly, $500 million is nowhere close to sufficient to meet the needs that exist today, but it is a start and we have the commitment from Finance to allocate at least that in January's proposal. At this point, the critical component is to ensure stability and avoid losing current capacity - we believe this approach helps achieve that in the transition year. Additionally, we are proposing that the FY 15-16 budget also allocate the FY 16-17 funding and set up a process to decide how best to distribute that funding to the regions and at the local level based on the AB 86 regional plans starting in the second year. Starting such planning early, with an idea of what school districts will have to budget with going in to the next budget cycle, will help provide greater clarity in budgeting year over year. More...
Esmeralda Cervantes' life story is one that can only inspire. When she was 17, classmates played a cruel joke on her, causing her to lose her sight and develop a brain tumor. In Mexico, accessibility for people with disabilities was very limited at that time. After suffering years of clinical depression, Esmeralda made the bold decision to move to Los Angeles, to enroll in the Braille Institute.
This institution provided Esmeralda with the tools to learn how to become independent; and, within two years, she learned how to read and write in Braille. She learned the English language and computer skills on her own, and for eight years worked as a full time volunteer, helping other visually impaired people from other countries. She taught English and life skills such as adaptive cooking, managing money, and shopping - techniques that would ensure greater independence. In addition, Esmeralda transcribed audio books and converted reading materials so that they could be accessible on screen readers (JAWS) and on screen magnifiers (Zoomtext). All told, she donated over 10,000 hours to help other visually impaired people.
In April of 2011, Esmeralda fulfilled one of her dearest dreams: she became a mother. She wanted to be a full time mother but knew that life can be especially challenging for a mother with a disability. In order to provide a better life for her son, she decided to continue her education and enrolled in the high school program at Montebello Community Adult School, in 2013.
While at the high school program, Esmeralda painstakingly read each letter of each word on a screen magnifier to complete her reading and math assignments. Esmeralda often memorized entire mathematical problems while solving them. Every day Esmeralda walked by herself to school, read all the materials, and wrote her assignments, essays, and tests--demonstrating to everyone at Montebello Adult School that all is possible if there is determination, commitment, and passion. Esmeralda spoke to lawmakers at the 2014 CCAE Legislation Day, in Sacramento, about the critical significance of adult education for students who are pursuing their dreams after encountering detours in their life journeys. In June, Esmeralda was Montebello Adult School's graduation speaker and scholarship recipient. There was not a dry eye in the audience after she spoke.
Currently, Esmeralda is waiting to attend East Los Angeles Community College. She has been waiting for her permanent resident status for nearly 14 years; without this status, she cannot qualify for the various program assistance and financial aid she would need to continue her education. However, Esmeralda has overcome many seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and this is just one more that she will triumph over, as she is determined to continue her education. Esmeralda Cervantes is an adult education graduate we can all aim to emulate. Thank you, Esme, for your inspiration!
The Change Agent
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In This Issue
adult education update and field check-in materials
If you missed the Adult Education Update & Field Check-In webinar, click here to listen to the entire presentation.
Email Contacts for Fiscal Year 15–16 Budget Correspondence—NASCAR & Superintendent Letters
As you know, we are in the final push to help ensure a workable January 2015 budget plan for FY 15-16. We’re hopeful that you all are continuing to work on finalizing your Nascar and Superintendent letters. To assist you in distributing the letters to the appropriate cc’s, we’re providing the following email contact information for those we’ve recommended the letters be sent to. Time is running short to affect the January budget outcome – get your letters in today and be sure to send a copy to CCAE. Click here for a list of email contacts.
Full Court Press to Save Adult Education Underway, Share Your Efforts and Progress Today!
Also, thanks to the great work of our CCAE and CAEAA State Legislative Chairs Joanne Durkee and Bob Harper, we have crafted a draft letter for you to have your superintendent sign and send to the Governor. It is important that each of your superintendents are engaged and supportive of our efforts to protect K-12 adult schools and the benefits they provide to their K-12 students and community overall. Prior to even releasing the letter, we've already received commitments from superintendents across the state to sign such a letter and work with their colleagues across the state to do the same. We hope you'll convince your superintendent to do the same! More...
2015–2016 Legislative talking points
It is absolutely critical that legislators (and their staff) hear directly from their constituents about the looming risk for their local adult schools to be able to continue to provide services to those most at risk in their communities.
While we are engaged in the development of local regional consortium plans as provided under AB 86 (2013), the concern for the future existence of K12 adult schools is at an all time high. The two-year maintenance of effort (MOE) as provided for in the 2013 budget is set to expire July 1, 2015. Unfortunately, after that date there is no funding currently available to support K12 based adult education—despite the regional consortia process. More...
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