The following provides an update, insights, and references for budget actions and state legislation enacted during the 2020 legislative session that affects the California Adult Education Program (CAEP).
State Budget for 2020/21
CAEP received its full funding for the 2020/21 budget year with an augmentation based on a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Thus, $500 million-plus was allocated for CAEP even though the state is experiencing significantly lower revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It should also be noted that the budget is silent on both the pandemic and virtual delivery systems. Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature chose to provide the pre-pandemic education budget funding counting on Congress to backfill state revenue shortfalls.
It remains to be seen whether the state will need to make mid-year cuts because of a lack of budget action at the federal level. If cuts are made during the 2020/21 fiscal year, or in subsequent years, Proposition 98 provisions would become applicable. Proposition 98 provides that K-14 education shall receive a guaranteed percentage of the state budget. Driven by algorithms, this percentage varies but averages around 50 percent. When negative state budget conditions develop, the governor and state legislature can reduce the cash commitment, but in subsequent years, K-14 education is paid back the amounts reduced.
Budget Language Narrows Accountability Focus
This year’s state budget language for CAEP includes a provision that requires those in charge of CAEP to specifically assess certain program gains. The budget language asks for data reporting within these three factors: (1) employment, (2) wage gains, and (3) transition to post-secondary education. Methodologies will need to be developed that would allow for the collection of student follow-up data showing program results in these three areas. To compensate and incentivize, the budget includes a one-time statewide $5 million data grant. This focus in the budget language further indicates that Governor Newsom continues to view the program as a statewide workforce preparation initiative, which is consistent with then Governor Brown’s priorities.
Dual Enrollment for Adult Education – SB 554 (Roth)
This bill extends the benefit of community college dual enrollment to adult education students enrolled in diploma and/or high school equivalency programs. Thus, under the auspices of dual enrollment, vocational and academic courses shall be at no cost to the participating adult.
State Code, Offices, and Agencies Affecting the Policies and Budgets of the California Adult Education Program
The following is a list of references that affects the policies and funding provisions of CAEP.
California Education Code
- Legislative authorization/the enacting provisions of CAEP
- Sections 84900 through 84920
- Proposes major initiatives and the state budget each year on January 10th
- On May 15th provides a budget revision update (May Revise)
- Provides, through Department of Finance (DOF), input on legislation with policy and state cost implications
State Legislature (80 assembly members and 40 state senators)
- Has two-year sessions with annual work from January to August or September
- Members introduce legislation to modify existing code provisions, propose new ones, and provide needed funding for implementation
- Major participants in the process are legislators, legislative staffs, legislation sponsors, proponents, opponents, lobbyists and the public
Source: California State Legislature
California Legislative Analyst Office
- An arm of the state legislature that provides non-partisan, in-depth analyses of policies, bills and the state budget
State Board of Education (11 members appointed by the Governor and Superintendent of Instruction - elected)
- Enacts regulations on some enacted legislation, such as K-12 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Regulations have the same power as enacted legislation, as opposed to guidelines that are advisory. The Board also grants waivers
California Community College Board of Governors (17 members including the Chancellor)
- Enacts regulations on some enacted legislation. The Board also grants waivers