Legislative Archives

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE TARGETED CONTACTS WITH SUB-COMMITTEE MEMBERS

June 1, 2016

Dear CCAE Member,
 
As the FY17 federal budget development moves to the US House of Representatives, we are focusing on the key members of the Appropriations Sub-Committee where the first figures for adult education will be determined. I have listed the Sub-Committee members below with their district number and the largest populations centers in the district.
 
We are asking for a targeted response from the directors of the largest adult education programs in the district to the DC offices of the Sub-Committee members. The ask in this case is to "fund adult education at $635 million, the amount authorized in WIOA". If you cannot contact the local directors directly from your office would you send this request along to your professional association for action.
 
Sub-Committee Democrats
Ranking Members

Thank you for your continued advocacy for the resources to meet the needs of our students,


ADULT EDUCATION BLOCK GRANT: DIRECT FUNDING VS. FISCAL AGENT

As we’ve worked to reframe and restructure adult education over the last few years, we’ve consistently noted the importance that the new, revised structure and distribution of resources under what is now deemed the “Adult Education Block Grant” (AEBG) be simple, clear, efficient and protected. 

Of greatest importance to help ease the transition this year to the AB 86 / AEBG regional consortia approach, the FY 15-16 budget provided dedicated funding directly to K-12 school districts in the amount of the districts’ maintenance of effort for adult education to sustain current capacity.  This component was critically important and one of the key items we advocated heavily for to preserve current capacity now and in the future.  Further, AEBG allows for each region to decide whether its adult school members receive their funding directly from the CDE or from a fiscal agent.  We believe this flexibility must be maintained and would argue the distribution of funds, particularly for the K-12 adult schools, be disseminated through their existing respective state fiscal infrastructures (CDE and the CCCO) to avoid disruption, confusion, delays, and denigration of either part of the dual delivery system. Read more...


GOVERNOR RELEASES FY 16-17 BUDGET PACKAGE

January 14, 2016

Governor Brown released his proposed $170 billion ($122 General Fund) FY 16-17 budget package that provides his initial road map for state spending in FY 16-17.  It is merely the opening salvo in a long process that will play out with legislative budget hearings and a revision released by him in May ("May Revise").  The package, with legislative adjustments, must be finalized by June 15th in time for the Governor to sign the package and the new fiscal year to begin on July 1st.   Budget overview hearings will be scheduled in the next couple of weeks with subcommittee hearings scheduled in March/April. 
 
Overall, the package provides significant growth in funding for education, health care and state infrastructure.  Additionally, it continues to build the state's Rainy Day Fund, pay down the "Wall of Debt" and more. 
 
Since its release, I've received many inquiries regarding the status of adult education in FY 16-17 and beyond.  Concern has been widespread that adult education was not mentioned in the widely publicized and circulated budget summary; however, I want to assure the field that adult education is absolutely contemplated as part of the package and will see $500 million, as expected and proposed, in FY 16-17. 
 
So, why wasn't it discussed in the budget summary and related documents?
 
Each year when the Governor prepares for his news conference and initial outreach on his proposed budget package a summary document of all of the adjustments to the budget from the current budget year is prepared.  To be clear, only items that are proposed to change in some way are included and mentioned in the package.  This could include cuts to a program, revenue increases, staff allocation adjustments, realignment of programs, and more.  For adult education, as I've mentioned on a host of occasions, there are no changes contemplated by the Governor and Department of Finance at this stage in the budget discussions.  That isn't to say the conversation that plays out over the next five months may not lead to adjustments, but currently the Governor and Department of Finance are more interested in seeing the continued implementation of the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) play out locally.  They're clear about some of the challenges with implementation that have been experienced across the state, but are adamant they want to see additional progress before investing greater sums of resources in to such a new system - even with the great potential and promise it holds for millions of Californians in need of basic skills and short-term career training. 
 
Still skeptical? 
 
In an effort to ensure I wasn't reading the tea leaves incorrectly, I reached out to the Department of Finance to ensure adult education was included as expected.  In this regard, I was pointed to page 15 of the galley, line item 201 under the Proposition 98 expenditures in the following filehttp://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2016-17/pdf/GovernorsBudget/6000/6870.pdf.  This provides the marker for adult education funding under the AEBG for FY 16-17.
 
So what about the details for expenditure of those funds?
 
To be clear, the distribution of the funds will continue to be dictated by the provisions in AB 104 and the local consortia plans.  Nothing changes in that regard.  Further, this number and current law ensures that adult schools will continue to receive the same amount you are receiving in the current FY 15-16 budget year in FY 16-17.  More specifically, Education Code Section § 84909(d) provides:
 
(d) The chancellor and Superintendent shall determine the amount to be allocated to each consortium based on the following:
(1)   The amount of funds apportioned to the members of that consortium in the immediately preceding fiscal year.
(2)   That adult education region's share of the statewide need for adult education.
(3)   That consortium's effectiveness in meeting the educational needs of adults in the adult education region based on available data.
 
In this regard, unless a region is failing to address the needs of adults effectively, the funding for each consortium will remain relatively flat and stable.  Further, as it relates to each individual consortium member, Section 84914 speaks to the three criteria under which this base funding would be eligible to be taken from any particular member.  Specifically, it provides the based funding may be stripped if:
 
"...the consortium makes at least of the following findings related to the member for which the distribution would be reduced: (A) the member no longer wishes to provide services consistent with the adult education plan. (b) The member cannot provide services that address the needs identified in the adult education plan. (C) The member has been consistently ineffective in providing services that address the needs identified in the adult education plan and reasonable interventions have not resulted in improvements."
 
In this regard, our efforts to ensure stability and some semblance of base funding continues to exist for adult schools going forward, presuming they are not falling into the criteria noted.
 
All of this said, the state associations are keenly aware that this level of funding will not address the need that exists nor will it ensure maintaining capacity over the long haul, particularly with a lack of adjustment for cost of living considerations and staffing costs.  We will be discussing these issues with Department of Finance and the Legislature in the coming months.  In the meantime, please know we're continuing our efforts to promote K-12 adult education, increase the level of funding for the AEBG and provide further clarity on the key provisions of the AEBG that remain problematic and/or confusing at the local level.

Stay tuned and be sure to save the date for the CAEAA & CCAE Legislative Day at the Capitol on April 5th!


FY 16-17 LEGISLATIVE TALKING POINTS

This time is a great time to ensure all members are properly educated as we move through the legislative budget process and ultimately to a vote of the full Legislature in June.

Key Issues

  • Consortia Plans Should Continue to Inform & Drive Funding
  • Current Funding at $500M under AEBG is not Sufficient to Meet the Need
  • Ensure New Adult Education and CTE Funding is Aligned and Eligible for
  • Prioritization under Regional Consortia Planning and AEBG
  • Data Accountability System Funding

AN ATTEMPT AT CLARITY TO AVOID AUDIT EXCEPTIONS & PENALTIES

We've heard from across the state that you all are working earnestly to implement the new era of adult education; however, you've also shared questions and concerns about the details of moving forward.  I believe we can all agree that the Adult Ed Block Grant provides such great opportunity and yet it is filled with provisions that, arguably, seem to lack clarity or sufficient level of detail.  As with any law or budget passed, we must always consider the intent that led to the details of the policy and budget for clues about how to address such perceived lack of clarity.  We worked hard and were at the front lines of developing the policy framework that led us to this point, so let's revisit what we believe to be true based on those discussions in an effort to provide some clarity on some of the biggest issues/questions we've heard to date.  Read more...


AB86: ADULT SCHOOLS' CURRENT CAPACITY NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY FOR  2015-2016!

The AB86 Regional Consortia planning is at a critical stage of development as the December 31st deliverables are being finalized now.   Although it's still uncertain what the adult education funding formula and method of distribution for next year will be, it's clear that the K-12 adult schools are depending on the AB86 funding that has been promised by the Governor and the Legislature.  The maintenance of current capacity for adult education needs to be included in the regional plans.  Maintenance of Capacity can be defined as the dollar amounts for "maintenance of effort" at a minimum.
 
There are several places in the regional plan template  (table 1.1, table 4.1) where consortia are asked to report on the funding required to deliver current levels of service and to project the costs for the future.   While funding for next year will be unclear until the state's budget is passed in June, CCAE and CAEAA strongly encourage adult school advocates to make sure that regional consortium plans include the following:

  • Adult schools' continue operation depends on the AB86 funds.  This should be made explicit in the plans.
  • Adult schools' support needs to be prioritized in the plans to maintain current capacity.
  • Tables, charts, or narratives should make clear what current funds are already in place to support adult education (WIA funds, non-credit or credit basic skills funds already available in the community colleges), and what additional funds will be needed to maintain current capacity, as well as to address gaps and expand services.

SOME ADVICE FROM CCAE

As some of you might have noticed the previous message was sent out last year. Seems like the important issues then are still the important issues now. Below is updated advice on MOE vs MOC which should be relevant to your current consortia conversations. As Adult Schools move into challenging conversations with our consortia partners we in CCAE realize that if we are to be successful providers of adult education services in this new world we must be successful within our consortia. As such CCAE will be providing advisories that are intended to give the best advice from state leaders of Adult Education within our organization. These advisories are not intended to represent state policy or Ed Code but rather guidance based on the most current information (laws and policies) available and best Adult Ed practices within the state. Our goal is to inform our members of options and recommendations that will ultimately provide the best services for our students and the best return on investment for our state.

MOE is NOT MOC (Maintenance of Effort is NOT Maintenance of Capacity)

Although we worked successfully with and were appreciative of the Governor, Department of Finance and Legislature agreeing to help maintain the capacity of a fragile Adult Education system and providing K12 specific funding for such maintenance, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that the way Maintenance of Effort was determined based on expenditures in 2012-13 resulted in an actual DECREASE in true dollars for Adult Schools and could ultimately result in the erosion of capacity within our Adult Ed system. Specifically, the MOE calculation did not take into account increased costs over the last two years related to STRS, COLAs, salaries, and health care.  With this loss of revenue and the inability to charge fees for ESL, each Adult School will inevitably have to consider reducing programs and services if the costs are not addressed in some way.
 
So what should an Adult School do?
 
Since the MOE funding amounts per school district have already been determined, the remaining funds of the $500 million Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) will be distributed to consortia and funding amounts for each member or partner will be determined within the consortia. Let us be clear - your MOE funds are not up for redistribution to other members but your agency is entitled to more funding from the additional consortia dollars. You should consider your MOE as a base funding amount which can then be added to through consortia dollars. In essence, there are two funding sources within the AEBG - MOE funds and consortia funds.
 
Considering the potential for an Adult School to lose a significant amount of capacity if the above mentioned costs are not addressed, it is recommended that each Adult School request funds be provided out of consortia dollars to supplement their MOE in order to maintain 2014-15 capacity levels. Once you have addressed this issue and are comfortable that your capacity is preserved the conversation can be shifted to increasing, improving, and streamlining services through your Adult School and what dollar amounts it will take out of consortia funds to accomplish this.
 
These might be delicate and uncomfortable conversations but keep in mind that non-Adult School members have had these costs addressed through separate, additional funding for their programs. Community Colleges for example continue to receive COLA and growth funding. Also keep in mind that Adult Schools are typically the less expensive provider of services and the most flexible and quickest to respond to address gaps in Adult Education services. You come to the table with a lot to offer so don't cut your school short when it comes to requesting an appropriate share of the consortia dollars.


ADULT ED BLOCK GRANT PACKAGE SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

Today we breathe a sigh of relief that the future of adult education, particularly with regard to adult schools, will be much brighter and more stable going forward. The Legislature took the Governor's May Revise budget proposal and ran with it, making a few minor adjustments that are generally workable. Concluding multiple years of hard work, sweat and tears, today the Governor signed AB 104, which includes the Adult Education Block Grant package. His signature yesterday is ahead of the June 30th Constitutional deadline for him to sign a budget. 
 
While there was much wrangling over the budget in the last few weeks, the Legislature met their required deadline to pass the budget—or a few key parts of it—by the June 15th deadline. The bulk of the package came together within 24 hours thereafter, with the Governor and Legislature agreeing to a more modest deal that relies on the Governor's more conservative revenue estimates. The overall budget provides for a $115.4 billion package that saves billions of dollars and pays down debt, while directing more resources to schools and low-income Californians. Additionally, they agreed to and Special Sessions were called to address transportation and Medi-Cal funding.
 
In terms of specifics for the Adult Education Block Grant package, it provides the following:

  • Includes $500 million in Proposition 98 General Fund revenue for the Adult Education Block Grant program
  • Entities eligible for funding from the Block Grant include school districts, county offices of education, community college districts, and joint powers authorities
  • Programs eligible for funding include:
    • Basic skills, high school equivalency/diploma
    • Citizenship, ESL
    • Workforce entry or reentry, including explicit ability for older adults to access these programs
    • Adult programs, including older adult access, that are "primarily designed to develop knowledge and skills to assist elementary and secondary school children to succeed academically in school" (a la child development for elementary and secondary school children)
    • Adults with disabilities programs
    • Short term career technical education
    • Pre-apprenticeship programs/activities
  • In order to receive funds from the Block Grant, a member must be part of a regional consortium
  • 5% administrative cost and consortium expenditures cap
  • Provides for the distribution of funds to be jointly approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chancellor of the Community Colleges
  • Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chancellor of the Community Colleges to submit a plan to distribute WIOA Title II and Perkins funds to the consortia in future years
  • Provides for a Block Grant-funded maintenance of effort (MOE) for FY 15-16 based on the level of spending required for each of the last two years (FY 12-13 baseline); Caps it at $375 million
    • The Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Chancellor of the Community Colleges must certify the MOE no later than July 31, 2015
    • In order for any school district or county office of education to receive their MOE funds, they must be a member of a consortium
  • Provides that a schedule of allocations for the amount above the MOE shall be approved no later than October 30, 2015
  • Funds will be distributed in FY 16-17 and beyond based on current allocations, need in the region and effectiveness of providers
  • Requires each consortium to develop a comprehensive plan for adult education in its region at least once every three years with annual updates
  • Requires each consortium to create rules and procedures regarding decision making (publicly made), considering feedback on proposed decisions from interested stakeholders
  • Provides stability for adult schools by requiring existing funding be maintained unless a consortium finds a school or college cannot provide services that address the needs of the region or if it has been consistently ineffective in doing so
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chancellor of the Community Colleges to report annually on the use of the funds and effectiveness in each consortium
  • Provides $25 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund revenue to establish the data systems necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of local programs
  • Permits Block Grant-funded programs to serve adults only, defined as a person of 18 years of age or older
  • Each consortium member must commit to reporting any funds available to and used by that member for the purpose of adult education and workforce development services
  • Provides that the decision to designate a local fiscal agent is at the discretion of each consortium otherwise the funds would be apportioned directly to members of the consortium from the Superintendent and Chancellor
  • Acknowledges explicitly that the plans consortia have developed to date will satisfy the requirements of the Block Grant for the next three years, with the subsequent 3 year plan needing to incorporate any additional requirements or adjustments in the law that may not have been contemplated and included in the original plan
  • Requires the Superintendent and Chancellor to provide preliminary projections for the amounts that would be allocated in the subsequent two fiscal years to assist with stability and out-year planning
  • Explicitly provides that LCFF funding can be used for adult education purposes

 
Well....that is a lot of detail!  And most of it was a direct result of the great work CCAE and CAEAA have undertaken the last three years.  Kudos to you all!

One of the key items that I've received a lot of feedback regarding is on the issue of a local fiscal agent.  As you will recall, we fought hard to allow funding to be drawn down through CDE and our school districts. This was critically important to help reinforce a K-12 adult school's identity.  Further, we were highly concerned that distribution of resources through a local fiscal agent would run the risk of distancing adult education programs from K12 districts. Regional plans build upon the unique identity of K12 adult schools and so it was imperative that they continued to be tied to CDE and their individual school districts. It was for these reasons we were thrilled to see the ability for consortia to make their own decisions locally about whether to have a local fiscal agent or to rely on the funding to come through CDE and the school district. While it has been characterized that lack of a local fiscal agent may result in adult schools not receiving their funding quickly, the timing should not be an issue. To be clear, the language in AB 104 provides that the Superintendent and Chancellor must approve a schedule of allocations to each consortium by October 30th with the requirement to apportion the funds to a local fiscal agent, if designated, no more than 30 days later. For a consortium that has not designated a local fiscal agent, the Superintendent and Chancellor are required to apportion the funds no more than 30 days after receipt of a final distribution schedule from the consortium. This only means that the consortia who elect not to have a local fiscal agent will need to move quickly to finalize their local apportionment schedule so as to indicate how much the Superintendent and Chancellor should apportion to each member, which in theory could be done one day after the state apportionment numbers are finalized and submitted that day with the 30 day clock running the same schedule as the consortium with a local fiscal agent. Presuming the consortia without a local fiscal agent move quickly to finalize their local apportionment schedule, there should be no delay in receipt of funds.
 
Given all of this, the decision is up to you at the local level as to whether you want to have a local fiscal agent or not. As your state representatives, we want to be sure you know that there should be no concern with exercising this flexibility we worked so hard to obtain.  
 
As you've surely noted, this package was a huge victory for adult schools and for the students we serve. We've helped put in place a framework from which we can build upon to ensure our students continue to have access to these critical programs while at the same time working with our partners to develop pathways for those same students to move on to a career or forward for further education.  Our students are the real winners in this without question. And while the bulk of the package is workable, there will likely be a few things that will need to be further addressed in a clean-up bill later in the Legislative Session, including further clarity about the 5% administrative cap provision.   If there are other items you believe need to be clarified, please be sure to share with CCAE and CAEAA.
 
On behalf of CCAE and CAEAA, I thank you all for your dedication and for your efforts to help push us over the finishing line. I look forward to continuing to work together to rebuild adult schools and supporting our students that have come to rely on our programs and services.  Strength in numbers....congratulations!


TAKE ACTION ON AB1846

I would like to announce that we will begin to increase our pressure to the Governor and the State Legislature through the budget process as the legislature has until June 15 to pass a budget.
 
Our Call to Action
We are asking students, teachers, and community members to wear red at their adult schools and to post photos on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets asking the Governor and Legislature to restore adult education funding. Please use the hashtag #RestoreAdEd when you are posting so we can keep track of how many post have been sent. Also please make sure to directly post to the following Facebook and Twitter accounts:
 
Governor Brown:
Twitter: @JerryBrownGov
Facebook: facebook.com/jerrybrown
 
Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De León:
Twitter: @kdeleon
 
Speaker Anthony Rendon:
Twitter: @Rendon63rd
 
Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting:
Twitter: @PhilTing
 
Senate Budget Chair:
Twitter: @MarkLeno
 
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks everyone once again for all your hard work on this issue.
 
Christopher Sanchez
Office of Assemblywoman Patty López  
Representing the 39th Assembly District
State Capitol, Room 5160
Phone: 916-319-2039
Fax: (916) 319-2139


ADULT EDUCATION REGIONAL PLANNING REPORT

The 2015 AB86 Legislative report has been submitted to the Legislature.  The report was jointly developed by the California Department of Education and the California Community College Chancellor's Office. The planning process brought two systems together to assess what we do well and to identify gaps. The report summarizes this work completed across the State by the 70 Adult Education Regional Consortia during the AB86 planning process. Click here to read the report.


MAY REVISE–STABILITY, CERTAINTY, IDENTITY...PROGRESS
 

Words cannot describe the significant progress we have made together over the last four budget cycles.  Really.  When I began working with CCAE and CAEAA we were facing utter elimination and transfer to the community college system.  And here we are...just three budget proposals and May Revises later....stability, certainty, preserved identity....access for our students.  I'm so pleased with what we've accomplished together these past few years. 
 
When we started off 2015 we were provided a good starting point in the Governor's FY 15-16 plan.  That said, there were a number of outstanding concerns and issues that needed to be addressed.  In a proactive fashion, we continued to engage the Department of Finance (DOF), Legislature, Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), and stakeholders to push for additional changes that would strengthen the good foundation presented to us in January.  Last Thursday, the Governor and DOF released a revised budget plan ("May Revise") that addressed each and every one of the concerns we had shared.  More specifically, the following key items were revised resulting in an incredible plan:

  • Solidifies the maintenance of effort for adult schools for FY 15-16 and ensures base funding in out years for certainty in school district budgeting and stability for adult schools
  • Sets an allocation schedule and process to help ensure stability for adult schools as LEAs develop their budgets each year
  • Allows local consortia to decide how best to distribute and receive funding whether through a local fiscal agent or through existing fiscal infrastructure
  • Elimination of the Allocation Boards and instead providing for local consortia to determine the governance structure best for the region and members
  • Requires all members' funding sources be identified and noted as part of the planning process so as to assist with prioritizing the expenditures of Adult Ed Block Grant funds
  • Established a 3-year planning process, with yearly updates so as to provide out-year forecasting and planning for stability
  • Funds three positions for the California Department of Education to ensure co-equal participation with the Chancellor's office in the AB 86 process and technical assistance for LEAs and adult schools

 
Budget Committees are already moving forward with hearings on the revised plan and preparing to take action.  As a matter of fact, I testified Monday in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 to convey our appreciation to the Administration and DOF for listening to our concerns and addressing them.  Further, we've been in close communication with budget staff in both houses to ensure they know we are incredibly pleased with the May Revise. 
 
All of this said, it isn't over until it's over - when the Legislature has approved the plan (by June 15th) and the Governor has signed it (by June 30th).  In this regard, I would note the concerns raised by the LAO and the community colleges with regard to the MOE and ongoing base funding provisions of the May Revision.  As voiced as part of the Assembly hearing Monday, they are concerned that the funding would be locked in without flexibility to adjust expenditures in out years unless the MOE-funded member no longer wishes to provide services consistent with the plan approved by the consortium; that member cannot provide the services that address the needs identified in the adult education plan; or the member has been consistently ineffective in providing the services that address the needs identified in the plan. 

Dawn Koepke Legislative Analyst
Dawn Koepke
Legislative Analyst


A NEW DAY...BUDGET OVERVIEW & NEXT STEPS

Click here to view the CCAE-CAEAA Legislative webinar slideshow that was presented on January 29, 2015.


SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE—STABILITY

We've been anxiously awaiting news, having worked so hard to make meaningful headway with the Administration and Department of Finance (DOF) on the future of adult education. All of that hard work culminated in the Governor releasing his FY 15-16 budget plan this morning that is workable and provides stability for K12 adult education when we need it most. Read more


Setting the Stage for the Future of Adult Education

Dawn Koepke gave a rousing keynote at the CCAE Awards Luncheon, which was sponsored by CTB McGraw Hill. During her speech, she covered a number of topics including--a history of adult education, the current state of adult education in California, remaining challenges, the path to success, and the importance of grass roots efforts. She ended by reminding the audience that if they are not "at the table, they will be on the menu!" Get the details and download her presentation here.