SACRAMENTO -- An Assembly committee weighed in on a key provision of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to overhaul the state’s education finance system. Its unanimous message to the governor: try again.
As part of his budget released in January, Brown asked lawmakers to shift responsibility for adult education -- offering high-school equivalency and other programs for older students -- to community colleges. Currently, such programs are overseen by high-school districts.
Lawmakers echoed concerns raised by the Assembly Budget Committee staff that Brown was, in essence, proposing deep spending cuts in these programs. Brown wants to give $300 million to community colleges to pay for these services. In 2007-08, the state spent $754 million on adult education.
The proposal was rejected by the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance on a bipartisan 5-0 vote. The fate and funding level for the program will ultimately be determined in the process of budget negotiations between legislative leaders and the governor later this year.
“We are in the early innings of the budget debate,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the governor’s Department of Finance after Tuesday’s vote. “We understand some lawmakers have concerns. We will continue to work with the Legislature and other education officials to move this process forward.”