June 17, 2011
Vol.2, No. 6
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Senate Begins Action on WIA Reauthorization

WIA

The Senate is working on the proposed Workplace Investment Act (WIA) reauthorizing legislation, and has released a draft for discussion. There are six sections of the bill, and adult education is under Title III rather than the current Title II. The sections are:

  • Title I: To support a comprehensive and coordinated workforce development system, Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 2011 streamlines governance provisions such as boards and plans and establishes common performance indicators across the four core WIA programs.
  • Title II: One stop delivery system, job training formula programs, and national programs.
  • Title III: Adult Education
  • Title IV: Amendments to the Wagner-Peyser Act
  • Title V: Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act
  • Title VI: General Provisions

The draft has been developed by staffers for Senators Murray, Harkin, Enzi and Isakson. They note that a key goal is "to strengthen, align, and coordinate employment, education, training, and vocational rehabilitation services."

Staffers are asking key organizations to get the draft out to their memberships and to send a response by Friday, June 17, as the bill is scheduled for mark-up by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 29, 2011. Links to the drafts of the six sections are posted on the Web site of the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education, and on the National Coalition for Literacy blog, where you can also find the instructions for submitting comments.

Legislature Passes, Governor Vetoes 2011-2012 State Budget

CA State Capitol dome

On Wednesday, June 15, the constitutional deadline for passing a State Budget, the Senate and Assembly sent to the Governor a spending plan for FY 2011-12. The budget was immediately sent to the Governor. On Thursday morning, June 16, Governor Brown vetoed the two budget bills, SB 69 (held over from March) and AB 98 (passed on the 15).

As passed, AB 98 relied on a long list of cuts, one-time revenues, special fund borrowing, accounting shifts, and other "gimmicks" to replace the $9.6 billion in revenues that the Governor sought in his May Revision.

The major elements of AB 98 and its various trailer bills include:

  • Reinstatement of $2.85 billion in K-14 apportionment deferrals
  • Increased tax and fee revenues of $1.6 billion from a 0.25% increase in the local sales tax, a $12 increase in the vehicle registration fee, imposition of the sales and use tax on certain Internet sales, and imposition of fire protection fees for rural residents
  • Additional cuts of $150 million each to the University of California (UC) and the California State University systems, plus a $540 million delay in payments to the UC
  • A cut of $150 million to the court system and $500 million to local law enforcement
  • An assumption of $700 million in federal funds to offset state expenditures in the Medi-Cal program
  • An assumption of $1.2 billion from the sale of state properties
  • An assumption of $800 million in higher General Fund revenues (on June 14, 2011, the State Controller reported that May 2011 collections were $409 million above forecast)
  • A $1 billion shift of Proposition 10 special funds to the General Fund

In his veto message, Governor Brown stated, "Unfortunately, the budget I have received is not a balanced solution. It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars of new debt. It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing, and unrealistic savings. Finally, it is not financeable and therefore will not allow us to meet our obligations as they occur." The state's two top financial officers, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and State Controller John Chiang, support the Governor's veto.

Study Released on Effects of Flexing Education Dollars

On May 26, the Rand Corporation, in collaboration with several California universities, released a study of the effects of the legislature's 2009 decision to put many programs including adult education into a flexible spending category, and providing the resulting $4.5 billion to districts as discretionary funds. The study, Deregulating School Aid in California ā€“ How Local Educators Allocate Flexible Tier 3 Categorical Funds: Findings from 10 School Districts in the First Implementation Year, 2001-2010, notes that "district actions were driven mostly by the need to plug deficits in their budgets, rather than from careful evaluation of programs and priorities." It also found that local decision-making was hampered by poor communications from lawmakers and uncertainty about whether the changes would last beyond the initial four years.

Read the full article.

Return on Investment from Adult Education and Training

A new report published by the McGraHill Research Foundation and co-authored by Debra Jones, Administrator of the Adult Education Office at the California Department of Education, along with Lennox McLendon of the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education and Mitch Rosin from McGraw Hill, delineates the societal benefits of adult education, and makes the case for increasing funding to this critical segment of the education system.

The report addresses the current budget pressure at both state and federal levels, and argues that cutting education now, in particular adult education, will result in increased costs to society later in areas such as health care, welfare, and corrections. The report provides data appropriate for presentations to school boards and other decision makers, such as projections based on an economic analysis of the nationā€™s 45 largest metropolitan areas, which include the 50 largest cities.

If only half to high school dropouts from the class of 2008 in these areas stayed in school and graduated, they would have contributed these economic benefits to their communities:

  • $4.1 in additional earnings compared to what they are likely to earn without a diploma
  • An additional $2.8 billion in spending
  • An additional $536 million in state and local taxes per year

Read the full report online for more impressive statistics on the value of adult education.

OVAE Seeks Education Research Analyst Candidates

OVAE is seeking candidates for the position of Education Research Analyst to serve on OVAE's Policy, Research, and Evaluation staff. This is a full-time, permanent, GS-13 position with a pay range of $89,033 ā€“ $115,742 per year. The position's duties include:

  • Planning, developing and conducting educational research activities within a specific functional or specialized area of education.
  • Conducting secondary analysis of public data sets to inform OVAE policy.
  • Conducting research projects involving the analysis of policy-related issues.
  • Consulting studies and literature to compile viewpoints and options to develop the analysis and to support conclusions drawn.

Find out more information in OTAN Want Ads.

Deadline for applications is June 21, 2011.

Webinars

OTAN is offering three Moodle online workshops this summer! Each workshop is limited to 30 participants.

  • Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site
    7/6/11 — 4:00p – 6:00p
    (Register by 7/3)
  • Moodle: Creating Assignments
    7/20/11 — 4:00p – 5:30p
    (Register by 7/17)
  • Effective Search Strategies for Students
    8/3/11 — 4:00p – 5:30p
    (Register by 7/31)

Get more information about these Webinars

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OTAN and Social Networking

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