legislative update

The Status of California’s Adult Education Program in 2018

Inspired by income inequities, in 2015 Governor Jerry Brown proposed a new adult education program as part of a statewide workforce initiative. Legislative leadership in both the state Assembly and Senate shared the same aims as the Governor, especially in regards to adult literacy, citizenship preparation, and employment training opportunities.

With the 2018-19 school year, California’s new adult education program is now in its fourth year of operation. The provisions governing the program were set forth in AB 104 (2015), and the governing provisions may be found in Education Code sections 84900 to 84920.

Since the enactment of AB 104 in 2015, a number of changes to the program have been enacted through state budget provisions or legislation. These changes are as follows:

  • The name of the program was changed from the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) to the California Adult Education Program. This change represents an effort to present the program as an ongoing state effort.
  • Where fiscal agents have been selected for consortium fiscal management, the annual funds shall now be transmitted to individual districts within 45 days. This change assists in ensuring that school districts receive their funding in a timely manner.
  • State level program planning and evaluation of this program shall now include the participation of the Governor’s Office of Immigration Integration. This change assists in ensuring that immigrant education opportunities are incorporated within the delivery and assessment of the program.

Since the initial 2015 funding of this program, the state of California has now dedicated a total of $2 billion to its adult education efforts. It should be noted that this far exceeds what other states are directing to adult literacy and workforce training, regardless of proportionality.