According to California Ed Code all adults in the state are guaranteed a right to basic education. Adults specifically have the following rights:
8500. The Legislature finds and declares that adult continuing education is essential to the needs of society in an era of rapid technological, economic, and social change and that all adults in California are entitled to quality publicly supported continuing education opportunity, including the following: (a) The opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively in today's economy and society. (b) Access to courses at the postsecondary level that are foundations upon which successive academic or occupational knowledge are dependent. (c) Participation in other courses designed to meet the particular needs of the local community.
Recent events, however, have moved Adult Education into the pile of services that are optional. Only districts that want to offer adult education will do so. Others, including LAUSD, are contemplating sweeping adult ed funds into their general fund in order to shore up seriously underfunded K-12 programs. This has pitted the needs of adults against the needs of children into a war with no winners. The entire state loses. Without adult education options, where will the following things take place: Where will adults get their GED or adult diploma? Learn English Acquire trades and vocation? Become citizens? Seek academic remediation? Prepare for college? Learn skills necessary for employment? Augment their wage potential? Keep pace with technology and learn new computer skills? To my knowledge Ed Code itself has not been changed. Somehow the legislators, including Gov. Brown himself, neglected this important part of the code when Adult Ed was placed on the chopping block. It is time to move it back where it belongs, on its own protected line. Here is a recent article from the Daily News about the risks of ignoring and abandoning adult education. http://www.dailynews.com/education/ci_19946921#.Tzk_NayJatU.email As a state we are on a collision course with a dangerous future. We need to correct the direction of this wrong decision. Adults need adult education in order to participate in the state and local economy. We cannot afford to become a state where the right to a basic education ends at age 18.Without basic skills adults have no way out of poverty and they will end up being supported by the state anyway. The unintended consequences of this decision are mind-bending. Support adult education in your local community. Let your school board know that their decision has serious consequences. As of this moment, the fate of adult education remains in the hands of school boards. I would like to see the control go back to the California Department of Education, where the right to basic education could be protected.