…or perhaps (4LAKids re-poses the question): CAN THE PEOPLE+VOTERS+TAXPAYERS+STUDENTS OF L.A. AFFORD LAUSD'S CURRENT LEADERSHIP AND DIRECTION?
From the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update | Week of December 19, 2011 | http://bit.ly/u3XRFf
THE DISTRICT’S 2012-2013 FISCAL STABILIZATION PLAN INCLUDES THE POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF GENERAL FUND SUPPORT FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION NEXT YEAR. Considering the longitudinal research on the value of early education programs and their economic benefits, AALA believes that the District cannot afford to do this. We are planning to publish a series of articles in Update on the value of early childhood education, both educationally and economically, to children, their families and the entire community. We invite AALA members, active and alumni, to share your knowledge and views on this topic. E-mail your thinking to the AALA office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AALA has been informed that LAUSD LEADERSHIP IS SEEKING BOARD APPROVAL TO CLOSE THE DISTRICT’S DIVISION OF ADULT AND CAREER EDUCATION (DACE) PROGRAMS NEXT YEAR and redirect tens of millions of dollars in funding to offset General Fund shortfalls.
- CAN THE DISTRICT AFFORD to prevent high school students from participating in adult education classes to earn credit for graduation?
- CAN THE DISTRICT AFFORD to eliminate educational opportunities for thousands of parents and community members who depend upon adult education to learn English and earn American citizenship?
- CAN THE DISTRICT AFFORD to cut high-quality apprenticeship programs that lead to decent jobs?
We believe that such an ill-conceived plan should be scrapped to avert a political and educational debacle. The District needs to recognize that DACE programs, in fact, do not encroach on the General Fund. While providing critically needed basic education and career training for the community at large, Adult and Career Education pays its own way through both direct and indirect assessments levied by the District against their severely limited resources. Additionally, the District sweeps every dollar left in Adult and Career Education accounts at the end of each year.
DACE administrators carefully manage their programs including the successful AEWC dropout recovery program and labor union-supported apprenticeship programs and have a long history of successes on a shoestring, including:
• More than 10% of last year’s high school dropouts were enrolled in Adult and Career Education courses on norm day 2011, thus reducing the District’s 2010-2011 dropout rate by 10%. The previous year’s reduction was also 10%, and nearly 9% the year before that. Clearly, LAUSD’s dropout rate would increase dramatically if DACE programs were not available to these students.
• Approximately 1,500 former dropouts were graduated from DACE programs in 2010-2011. These graduates were reported in ISIS, further reducing the District’s dropout rate.
• In 2010-2011, 88,200 high school students took Adult and Career Education courses to make up credits and keep up with their cohorts. Reducing accessibility for these students would simply transfer educational costs to the General Fund at a higher per-capita cost.
• In 2010-2011, 51,844 high school students took courses at occupational centers and in ROP. Reducing accessibility to these programs would cause students to be transferred back to their home schools and would increase costs to the General Fund, again at a higher per-capita cost.
• In 2010-2011, 58,147 parents took DACE courses. AALA fully understands LAUSD’s budget problems. We strongly believe, however, that the District cannot afford to shut down the District’s Adult and Career Education programs. Doing so would have the unintended consequence of increasing General Fund costs, increasing dropout rates and eliminating valuable educational services to tens of thousands of needy parents and community members District- wide.