In June 2013, the State Legislature and Governor enacted AB 86 that called for school districts with adult education programs and community college districts to come together and create plans to serve the education and job training needs of adults in their respective regions. AB 86 provided $25 million to develop 71 local consortia plans by June 2015.
As a follow up, in June 2015 the Governor and State Legislature approved AB 104. This measure included the provisions that defined the new Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) program. The 2015-16 state budget provided $500 million for implementation of the AEBG. This program and funding were positioned within the state’s overall efforts to address workforce training and income inequalities, the idea being that individuals with education and workforce skills will have challenging and productive careers.
The AEBG introduced a number of new concepts for adult education that included the following:
As a result of recent legislation, the Adult Education Block Grant has been changed to CA Adult Education Program (AEP) to reflect the state’s commitment to an ongoing funding stream. Focus areas included in the legislation are as follows:
Adult Basic & Secondary Education — programs in elementary and secondary basic skills, including programs leading to a high school diploma or high school equivalency.
English as a Second Language & Citizenship — programs for immigrants eligible for educational services in citizenship, English as a second language, and workforce preparation.
Career Technical Education — a variety of career training programs that deliver customized curriculum needed to meet the diverse training and development needs of businesses, promote a skilled workforce with high growth and high wage employment potential, leading to industry certifications or meeting the required prerequisites and foundations for advanced career pathways.
Workforce Reentry — programs for adults, including, but not limited to, older adults, that are primarily related to entry or re-entry into the workforce.
Training to Support Child School Success — programs for adults, including, but not limited to, older adults, that are primarily designed to develop knowledge and skills to assist elementary and secondary school children to succeed academically in school.
Programs for Adults with Disabilities — programs for individuals with physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, or other medical disabilities who may need special education assistance, or who require a modified program.
Pre-Apprenticeship — programs offering training activities conducted in coordination with one or more apprenticeship programs approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards for the occupation and geographic area.
For fiscal years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18, the Governor and Legislature allocated $500 million for districts that both serve adults and are members of regional consortia. For fiscal year 2018/19 an additional ”COLA” was allocated.
Currently the West End Corridor Consortium is implementing its original Three-Year Plan. An extension of the plan was authorized for 2018/19, with a new Three-Year Plan due in June of 2019.