Photograph of Governor Jerry Brown
Photo from Capital Public Radio

With the 2018 California May Revise of the budget, also comes the 2018-19 Education Omnibus Trailer Bill.  This is a bill I watch for each year, because unlike most bills that move through the legislature slowly, this one runs quickly and always passes (although it is possible to sometimes get it modified) Further, this bill often has some language that impacts adult-serving charter schools. (For instance, the moratorium on new adult-serving charter schools that happened several years ago, was in the omnibus trailer bill)

In this year’s bill, there is language that affects how the alternative accountability system works, which at one time was known as ASAM, and now is called DASS.  I think the changes will be mostly positive, although we will have to see how these actually are implemented (and see if the bill gets modified).

The first piece of good news, is that in earlier legislation there was a limit on how many “Dropout recovery high schools” could exist (although this was never enforced as far as I could tell), and this limitation has now been removed.   Second, it appears that most adult-serving charter schools will meet the definition of a “Dropout recovery high school” (as they did previously) because the bill, as it currently stands, defines a “Dropout recovery high school” as:

a school offering instruction in any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in which 50 percent or more of its pupils are either designated as dropouts pursuant to the exit and withdrawal codes developed by the department or left a school and were not otherwise enrolled in a school for a period of at least 180 days and the school provides instruction in partnership with any of the following:

(A) The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128).

(B) Federally affiliated Youthbuild programs (29 U.S.C. Sec. 3226 et seq.).

(C) Federal job corps training or instruction provided pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with the federal provider.

(D) The California Conservation Corps or local conservation corps certified by the California Conservation Corps pursuant to Section 14406 or 14507.5 of the Public Resources Code.

Given that most adults “left a school and were not otherwise enrolled in a school for a period of at least 180 days”, and the partnership requirement dovetails into the types of partnerships required for adult-serving charter schools in the first place, this seems that adult-serving charter schools will generally meet this requirement (with the rare exception of an adult-serving charter school who also serves a large number of youth who don’t meet the dropout recovery definition.)

There is also a new initiative about a Strong Workforce Program, that will be running, at least in part, through the adult education consortium in California, that adult-serving charter schools may be interested in.  Although, my advice to adult-serving charter schools has always been that while I recommend joining their regional consortium, I don’t think it is generally good to try and get funding from the consortium, but I do not yet have an opinion about whether I think it is a good idea to go for the Strong Workforce Program funding.