Millions of dollars at stake
With up to $500 million in new funding for adult education expected to start flowing in 2015, CCA continues to urge chapters statewide to become involved in the planning process.
“We want to make sure we have faculty advocates involved in this process at all levels and have been fighting hard for their inclusion at the state level,” said CCA President Lynette Nyaggah.
Summit in Sacramento
That fight recently involved both CCA andthe California Teachers Association applying relentless pressure on state officials to open a statewide summit in Sacramento to faculty union representatives. Despite that initial oversight, Nyaggah was able to attend the October summit with two other CCA representatives, Krista Warren, a special education instructor at Mira Costa College and Martha Garcia, program coordinator at Imperial Valley College.
All together, the three were among the 300 participants from K-12, the Academic Senate, the California Department of Education, the Chancellor’s Office and the Legislature to attend the summit on AB 86.
The intent of AB 86 is to expand and improve the delivery of Adult Education beginning with a $25 million planning grant to coordinate regional consortia. CCA chapters have already begun meeting with their K-12 counterparts regionally to begin the process.
Redesigning adult ed
“AB 86 provides a unique and wonderful opportunity for faculty to join with K-12 in developing and redesigning adult education. As an advocate for students with disabilities, I felt I needed to get involved,” Warren said.
Up to now, adult education has been divided into a hodgepodge of programs in K-12 and community colleges, with little or no coordination. The wide-ranging programs include English as a Second Language, basic skills, citizenship, career and technical education, apprenticeships, and programs for the disabled. Many of these programs will be moving into the community colleges under the legislation, though it appears the process will be anything but simple.
“There’s going to be major confusion,” Warren said. “People are going to have to wrap their heads around this.”
The new funding to transfer programs to community colleges will mean contractual changes for faculty, which is why CCA leadership is so concerned that local chapters become involved. Meanwhile, much of the discussion around AB 86 is being led by administrators.
“Our faculty need to be involved with this and chapter presidents need to be aware,” said Garcia, whose consortia in Imperial County is further ahead in planning than many others.
Despite the promise of new funding, it is still not certain how much will be available come 2015.
“The thing that’s missing from our discussions (at a regional level) is the money,” Warren said. Both Garcia and Warren urge their colleagues to go the AB 86 website at ab86.cccco.edu to learn more.