Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
SACRAMENTO – Teachers and administrators lobbied lawmakers in Sacramento this week to protect valuable adult education programs and career technical education classes from the massive public education cuts being considered by the Legislature in response to the state budget crisis.
The lobbying effort was a joint push by members of the California Teachers Association and the Association of California School Administrators. The strong message was that these programs should be removed from a “Tier III” (or bottom) category of more than 40 public education categorical programs. The designation – set by legislators as part of the February state budget package – allows school districts to raid funds for these programs and shut them down.
“With California’s unemployment rate at 11 percent, these kinds of programs offer people a chance to get back into the workforce,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “Efforts to cut these programs are extremely shortsighted. They need to be removed from the ‘Tier 3’ list and protected, not abandoned.”
Teachers taking part in the lobbying included the CTA Alternative, Career and Technical Education Committee of the association’s State Council of Education, its top governing body. Cris Johnson, chairperson of that committee, took part because he said he sees the cuts first-hand where he teaches, the Sacramento City Unified School District.
“In my district, they are closing all the adult school evening programs,” Johnson said. “This includes a lot of career and technical education programs, such as those that teach students to be bus drivers and to organize medical records.”
The effort this week to protect these programs is part of CTA’s ongoing battle to remove adult education and Regional Occupational Program (ROP) centers from Tier III status and place them into what is known as Tier II status, where they would be protected from funding raids by school districts. For more background, see the CTA Educator magazine story on this fight at this link: www.cta.org/media/publications/educator/current/0509_mad_07.htm