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SCR-25 Adult Education Week.(2021-2022)

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Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 25

Relative to adult education.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  July 09, 2021. ]


SCR 25, Hurtado. Adult Education Week.
This bill would proclaim the week of April 18, 2021, to April 24, 2021, inclusive, as Adult Education Week, and would honor the teachers, administrators, classified staff, and students of adult education programs statewide for their efforts, persistence, and accomplishments.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The week of April 18, 2021, to April 24, 2021, inclusive, is observed as “Adult Education Week,” recognizing the unique accomplishments of California adult schools; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature acknowledges that adult schools that are provided by K–12 school districts offer quality programs to meet the ever-changing economic and workforce development and lifelong learning needs of our diverse state; and
WHEREAS, The first recorded adult education class in California was held in the basement of St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco in 1856. The class was authorized by the San Francisco Board of Education to teach English to Irish, Italian, and Chinese immigrants. John Swett, who was the first volunteer teacher for the class, later became a Superintendent of Public Instruction; and
WHEREAS, Most students served through adult education deal with illiteracy, poverty, and high unemployment, and are the most negatively impacted group when the state faces economic, social, and health challenges, most recently seen through the impact of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, Historically, adult schools have been called on to assist the state as it dealt with significant social, political, and economic issues, such as providing job training programs during World War II, immigration reform of the 1980s, and most recently, the Great Recession; and
WHEREAS, Adult education in California overcame its biggest challenge as a result of the severe economic crisis facing both the state and the nation in 2008–09. Funding previously reserved for adult education was redistributed to other levels of education in the state, causing many adult schools to close or decrease in size; and
WHEREAS, There are currently 600,000 adult learners enrolled in English as a second language classes at adult schools across California who are in the age range to have children in our public school system. The impact of adult education is felt across generations, particularly for early childhood learners who have been characterized as a priority by the Governor and the Legislature; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools, which work in collaboration with community colleges, community centers, and libraries, are a primary community resource for the teaching and instruction of adult literacy; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools provide a way for adults to complete secondary-education studies and obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent at their own pace, and to prepare for and transition to postsecondary education and career training; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools provide critical opportunities to bring recent school dropouts back to school; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools provide instruction to those in the state who need English as a second language and citizenship courses, and play a key role in immigrant integration and the path to United States citizenship, which is important for our diverse community during this time of immigration reform; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools, which recognize that we must focus on educating parents in order to break the cycle of illiteracy and to support educational equity for all our children, provide programs in family literacy at elementary schools in conjunction with community-based organizations; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools provide short-term career and technical training for adults seeking changes or enhancements in their career pathways; and
WHEREAS, In 2015, the Legislature and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. saved California adult schools from the brink of closure by establishing the Adult Education Block Grant Program that helped to restore access and programming for adult learners with planning and collaboration on a regional scale; and
WHEREAS, Adult schools in California are diverse places of learning that seek to support all students regardless of ethnicity, race, faith, and orientation, where students are safe from discrimination and bullying; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims the week of April 18, 2021, to April 24, 2021, inclusive, as Adult Education Week, and that teachers, administrators, classified staff, and students of adult education programs statewide be honored for their efforts, persistence, and accomplishments; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.