Members of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education on March 19 recommended that lawmakers reject the governor's proposal to move Adult Education programs to the community colleges. While the panelists support increasing efficiency, they believe the governor's proposal as presented is "unworkable."
Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), who chairs the subcommittee, was among panel members who expressed grave concerns that the proposal could effectively end adult education services.
During the hearing, Assembly members said the proposed budget's appropriations for the community colleges to take over the leading role in adult education would not adequately fund the program. It was also noted that the governor's proposal does not provide a solid blueprint for accountability for the community colleges' governance of the program.
Among other concerns raised in testimony provided by a long line of opponents is that in coming years, the adult education system will be vital to providing the state's immigrant population with the classes necessary to master English and citizenship skills, as well as vital to training and retraining the state's workforce.
Assembly Member Bonilla stressed that eliminating adult education and laying off teachers is not where the governor's proposal should go.