State budget cuts, combined with more spending flexibility for school districts, are reducing adults’ options for learning English, earning their GED or high school diploma, and training for jobs.
California adult education programs have changed dramatically over the last three years, with 22 of the state’s 30 largest school districts making major cuts to adult programs and one district eliminating adult education completely, according to a new report.
“Adult schools find themselves in a very difficult position,” said Louis Freedberg, executive director of EdSource, the education nonprofit that produced the report. “They kind of fall between the cracks of the K-12 system and the higher education system.”
Lawmakers in 2009 gave school districts more power to determine how to spend state funds to help them deal with budget cutbacks, but that flexibility has led districts to direct money away from adult education programs to protect their core population of K-12 students, Freedberg said.