In the years 1995-1999, funding for adult day schools was slashed by 70% and school boards consequently eliminated most of the adult daytime programs.
At present, very few boards still use salaried teachers in their adult education credit programs; most of the teachers of adult education credit programs are hourly paid, and languish behind every other employee group in terms of benefits, and ability to transfer readily to other jobs.
In the spring of 2006, the Provincial Executive approved a “New Strategy for Adult Education” (see Related Attachments) which proposes a blended model of adult and alternative education programs in order to maximize the amount of funding a board takes in for those programs in order be able to pay all the teachers of these programs on the grid. The Provincial Executive also authorized the development of a survey to gather data regarding the current make up of adult education credit programs around the province. The results of the survey are posted below in Related Attachments.
While some of the data came in differing forms, the general indication is that the data supports our proposed direction. The blended model fits well into the government’s goal of increasing creative approaches to supporting/retaining at-risk students. A full-service school where each community has an accessible adult/alternative school, offering seamless programs from entry-level non-credit ESL (where there is demand) and job-retraining programs delivered through adult-model credit courses and includes opportunities such as specific job-preparation courses and a strong focus on cooperative education, will lead to increased student success/graduation rates, employability, and options for attending post-secondary destinations.
Moving forward with implementing this new strategy would go far to achieve both our goals and the government’s goals at the same time, and begin to repair the damage that the previous government did to adult education.