Adult Education has been very beneficial in providing free access to education for people who can't leave their jobs to become full-time students. It has helped many immigrants and other working-age laborers get the degree they need to get better jobs. These schools offer a wide range of training curricula, which include basic education like high school and college programs, vocational and technical degrees, English as Second Language (ESL) training, home economics and other accountability education. Recently, there have been major changes, such as tax cuts, to reduce the school budget for adult education funds.
From the previous $811 million states adult education budget, it has now gone down to just $722 million. There was a 10.9% drop in education funding. This has been due to higher spending incurred in the previous school years. There are several factors that have caused this. Enrollment in standard classes such as ESL or vocational classes has not increased over the past few years. The rise of online education has also contributed to the lower student population for core classes. Most adult education schools have also failed to secure their full state funding entitlement. The adult education policy has suffered badly because of this situation.
To prepare an adult education budget, the lawmakers have to consider the number of students. The steady decrease in enrollment for the major programs like ESL has made state funding decrease dramatically. Since adult education needs more funding, you have to get more from the Federal Government. The Legislature has also noticed that many local programs were not turning out more graduates. The drop-out level has been high in recent school years. Some schools, which offer adult education, cannot increase their core academic and vocational classes because of lack of funds.
To cope with these tax cuts, the schools may increase their tuition fees and other school charges. It can also add more revenue by creating more jobs for their students. The reserve funds can also be utilized to supplement dwindling finances. For example, the state budget in California for adult education for the school year 2008-09 was $772,560,000. The budget will be revised in the succeeding year, which would then total to $653,744,000. In Kentucky, the Council on Postsecondary Education has recommended that the local schools, which offer adult education programs, are their number one priority. This group has recommended a $4 million increase for the 2008-10 school years. This will then give a 16% increase in education funding from $25 million to $29 million for 2009-10.
However, the state of Kentucky has mandated an increase in funds for adult education to attain its goals. To increase the number of working people with college degrees by the school year 2019-20, the State Council of Kentucky has mandated its Adult Education to increase its GED proficiency from 9,281 in 2007 up to 15,000 in 2020. It has also been required to increase its GED post-secondary transition rate to 36% by the year 2020.