By Susan Frey
The governor’s proposed budget, unveiled last week, allocates $500 million for an Adult Education Block Grant, with a provision that existing K-12 adult ed programs be funded for another year.
The new funding allows more time for recently formed local consortia of adult schools, community colleges and other organizations that serve adults to determine what programs their communities need, how they will be funded and who is going to provide them.
K-12 adult schools have been fighting for survival since the recession, when school districts were allowed to use funding formerly dedicated for adult schools for any educational purpose. Many districts, trying to minimize cuts to their K-12 programs, took advantage of this new flexibility and eliminated or severely cut funding to their adult schools.