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Adult High School Legislation PDF Print

Adult High School Programs Provide Second Chance Opportunities at Minimal Cost

Developed by the NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools

Adult High School programs provide a critical “second chance” for over 10,000 dropouts, immigrants, and disadvantaged New Jerseyans to earn a high school diploma and the opportunity for meaningful employment.

The future of these important programs has been in jeopardy since 2004, when the Governor’s Budget shifted $18.4 million from Adult High School programs into the generic “consolidated aid” category.  Although the school districts that previously received aid for adult high school programs have been held “harmless” from losing these funds, adult high school programs no longer generate per pupil funding ($1443) specifically designated for these “second chance” school students.

If Adult High School programs are not funded, they will not survive.  Adult High School enrollment declined substantially since 2004 because programs are closing due to lack of dedicated funding.  If a new school aid formula does not support adult high schools, most of the 43 remaining programs will be forced to close.  Thousands of the state’s most vulnerable residents will be left without an opportunity to return to high school and earn a bona fide diploma that meets the state’s graduation standards.  Their only option will be to earn a GED, which is not an equivalent credential.

City

Population

Age 25 +

% Lacking High School Diploma

Atlantic City

26,521

38.2%

Camden

42,746

49.0%

Elizabeth

75,912

38.3%

Irvington

37,143

28.0%

Jersey City

155,460

27.4%

Newark

164,298

42.1%

Passaic

38,437

44.5%

Paterson

88.077

41.5%

Trenton

53,021

37.6%

Union City

42,677

45.6%

Vineland

37,333

32.2%

W. New York

30,669

45.6%

The new school funding formula under development must restore New Jersey’s commitment to second-chance programs for dropouts and adults who lack a high school diploma.  Though the education level of New Jersey residents is higher than the national average, many urban communities have a high percentage of residents without a high school diploma.  Atlantic, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Salem and Union counties all have an average of more than 20 percent of adults without a high school diploma.[1]  In the state’s largest cities, the rate of adults age 25 and over without a high school diploma ranges from 27% to 49%.[2]  Their limited economic opportunities have severe consequences for our state.

The Joint Legislative Committee on School Funding Reform recommends maintaining categorical aid for adult high school programs, and updating the per pupil amount ($1443) to reflect inflationary growth.  Implementing this important recommendation will cost less than the $18.4 million originally earmarked for this purpose. Including this aid in a new funding formula will preserve a valuable educational safety net for dropouts, immigrants and others who need a second chance to earn a high school diploma. 



[1] US Census Bureau.  Educational Attainment 2000 (GCT-P11)

[2] US Census Bureau.  “Profile of Selected Social Characteristics, 2000”

 



 PAST ACTIVITIES

ADULT HIGH SCHOOL LEGISLATION

A bill was introduced in the NJ Senate in January 2005 to preserve adult high school funding by reinstituting the use of the number of pupils enrolled in approved adult high schools for state aid calculations.  The bill is S2196, sponsored by Senators Bernard Kenney, Jr. and Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr.  (View the bill at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2004/Bills/S2500/2196_I1.PDF)

The law in part states,  ”Not withstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, for the 2005-06 school year, state aid shall be distributed to school districts with approved adult high schools on an unweighted per pupil basis for pupils enrolled in approved adult high schools.  For the 2005-06 school year, districts shall receive $1,512 for each adult pupil.”  (2/16/05)

2/16/05 CALL TO ACTION

There has been progress on the adult high school legislation.  Assemblywoman Quigley and Assemblymen Johnson and Scalera introduced Assembly Bill A3839, an identical companion to S2196 to preserve adult high school funding by reinstituting the use of the number of pupils enrolled in approved adult high schools for state aid calculations.   (2/22/05)

2/22/05 CALL TO ACTION

  We need to take immediate action to move this bill forward.

  • Please write or email Assemblyman Stanley by Friday, 2/25 requesting that A3839 be posted for a vote.  In order for A3839 to be brought to the floor it must be approved by the Assembly Education Committee. The Committee Chair is Assemblyman Craig Stanley. We need to let him know how important it is to adult learners for this bill to be posted for a vote as soon as possible.  Feel free to use the sample letter, whole or in part, for your correspondence.

Assemblyman Craig A. Stanley
1200 Clinton Avenue
Irvington, NJ  07111
973-399-1000

  • Please write or call the offices of Assemblywoman Quigley and Assemblymen Johnson and Scalera by Monday, 2/28 to thank them for sponsoring the bill and for their continued support of the adult high schools. 

Assemblywoman
Joan M. Quigley
242 Tenth St. Suite 101
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201-217-4614

Assemblyman
Gordon M. Johnson
1 Engle St. Suite 104
 
Englewood, NJ  07631
201-541-1118

Assemblyman Frederick Scalera
800 Bloomfield Ave.
Nutley, NJ  07710
(973) 667-4431

  • Please write or call the office of your own state assemblyman.   We need to let them know how vital these second chance programs are for the increasing number of dropouts and for all adult learners needing a regular high school diploma.   (To find your legislator, go to: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp)

 

If you have not made the NJ Senate contacts, please do so immediately.

  We need to take immediate action to move this bill forward.

  1.  Please write or email Senator Turner by Monday, 2/21 requesting that S2196 be posted for a vote.  In order for S2196 to be brought to the floor it must be approved by the Senate Education Committee. The Committee Chair is Senator Shirley Turner. We need to let her know how important it is to adult learners for this bill to be posted for a vote as soon as possible.  Feel free to use the sample letter, whole or in part, for your correspondence.

 

  1. Please write or call the offices of Senator Kenney and Senator Kyrillos by Wednesday, 2/22 to thank them for sponsoring the bill and for their continued support of the adult high schools. 

Senator Bernard F. Kenny
235 Hudson Street
Hoboken, NJ  07030,
Telephone:  201 653 1466

 

Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos 1715 Highway 35, Suite 303
Middletown, NJ  07748
Telephone: 732 671 3206

  1. Please write or call the office of your own state senator.   We need to let them know how vital these second chance programs are for the increasing number of dropouts and for all adult learners needing a regular high school diploma.   (To find your legislator, go to: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp)
     

 If you have any questions, please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

The School Funding Reform Committee has recommended that adult high school aid and post-secondary vocational aid be continued as is, with an increase in the per pupil amount to $1443 (Recommendation 9). 
The full report is available online: http"//www.njleg.state.nj.us/propertytaxsession/jcsf_report111506.pdf
Please contact your legislators and ask them to support this recommendation and S-284 and A-1391.

4/24/06    Call to Action
We have been notified that the NJ Senate Education Committee has scheduled meetings in May and June.  This is the committee that we must encourage to release S-284 if it is to be considered by the full Senate.  We need to generate calls and letters to the chair and members of this committee:
  
Our message should be:
  • NJ's adult high schools are an important segment of the NJ's literacy system.
  • Every adult high school in NJ is at-risk of closing.  In the last two years alone, the number of adult high schools has dropped from 54 to 45. Once lost, it is doubtful that these programs will be re-opened without significant state investment.
  • For many employers and for most military service, there is no replacement for a high school diploma.  Although the GED is a valued credential, the high school diploma is recognized as a greater accomplishment.
  • By budgeting flat funding or minimal percentage increases, the state has moved away from the CEIFA funding formula that bases school aid on student headcount.  Adult headcount does not generate any funding.
  • Although there is a funded budget line item of approximately $18 million for Adult Education and Post Secondary Education, districts are not required to apply this funding as intended in the budget.  In many districts, funding intended for adults in the Department of Education Budget is deflected to support traditional K-12 programs.
  • S 284 restores adult headcount as a basis for dedicated funding using the funding allocated in the budget.  No budget increase is necessary.
  • Please support S 284 and forward the bill to the full Senate for discussion.


11/15/06    Report
The School Funding Reform Committee has recommended that adult high school aid and post-secondary vocational aid be continued as is, with an increase in the per pupil amount to $1443 (Recommendation 9). 
The full report is available online: http"//www.njleg.state.nj.us/propertytaxsession/jcsf_report111506.pdf
Please contact your legislators and ask them to support this recommendation and S-284 and A-1391.

4/24/06    Call to Action
We have been notified that the NJ Senate Education Committee has scheduled meetings in May and June.  This is the committee that we must encourage to release S-284 if it is to be considered by the full Senate.  We need to generate calls and letters to the chair and members of this committee:
 
 
Our message should be:
  • NJ's adult high schools are an important segment of the NJ's literacy system.
  • Every adult high school in NJ is at-risk of closing.  In the last two years alone, the number of adult high schools has dropped from 54 to 45. Once lost, it is doubtful that these programs will be re-opened without significant state investment.
  • For many employers and for most military service, there is no replacement for a high school diploma.  Although the GED is a valued credential, the high school diploma is recognized as a greater accomplishment.
  • By budgeting flat funding or minimal percentage increases, the state has moved away from the CEIFA funding formula that bases school aid on student headcount.  Adult headcount does not generate any funding.
  • Although there is a funded budget line item of approximately $18 million for Adult Education and Post Secondary Education, districts are not required to apply this funding as intended in the budget.  In many districts, funding intended for adults in the Department of Education Budget is deflected to support traditional K-12 programs.
  • S 284 restores adult headcount as a basis for dedicated funding using the funding allocated in the budget.  No budget increase is necessary.
  • Please support S 284 and forward the bill to the full Senate for discussion.
 
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