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Adults in Corrections Education Program

Information on jail education funding, education objectives (course approval system), program compliance, and assessment.


The Adults in Corrections Education (Jail Education) Program, California Department of Education (CDE), is funded by Budget Act Item 6100-158-0001, Provision 1. The California Education Code (EC) Section 1909 et seq. provides for the education of incarcerated adults at county jails in basic education, high school diploma, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Jail education classes are designed to help inmates improve competence in reading, language arts, mathematics, vocational (job skills) education, and self-esteem. The benefits and outcomes are an opportunity for lifelong learning and literacy skill development. These services help the individual and community by providing inmates with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively as workers, family members, and consumers of goods and services.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is the authority for funding jail education?

Fiscal authority is found in Budget Act Item 6100-158-0001, Provision 1 and EC sections 1900 through 1909.5, 41840 through 41841.8, 46191, and 52610 through 52616.

  1. What is the role of the General Fund in funding the jail education program?

Budget Act Item 6100-158-0001 provides that the General Fund (Proposition 98) may allocate spending for adult education programs in jails. The following chart lists the dollar amount and year of reimbursement to county local education agencies (LEAs) for jail education.

Year of Reimbursement
(For expenses incurred in the previous year)
Authorized by Budget Act
Item 6100-158-0001
Fiscal Year 2023-24 8,670,000
Fiscal Year 2022-23 8,136,000
Fiscal Year 2021-22 8,000,000
Fiscal Year 2020-21 15,746,000
Fiscal Year 2019-20 15,746,000


  1. How is the apportionment determined for each LEA that operates a jail education program?

The apportionment for each LEA is based on a reimbursement for services provided in the previous year and paid in the current year. For example, funding distributed to each LEA for reimbursement of services provided in the current fiscal year for the AICF Program shall be limited to the amount received by the agency for services provided in the prior fiscal year. Increased by the percentage change determined and provided pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 42238.02 of the Education Code for the current fiscal year. Funded average daily attendance (ADA) is the lesser of the reported prior fiscal year Annual ADA or the LEAs' ADA cap for the prior. The current fiscal year cap for LEAs with 20 units or less of ADA in the prior fiscal year is equal to the LEA's prior fiscal year ADA plus 20 ADA for growth.

  1. Is the ADA capped?

The cap for LEAs with more than 20 units of ADA in current fiscal year is the ADA cap for the prior fiscal year plus two and one-half percent for growth.

Growth and Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

  1. Are growth and COLA allowed on an annual basis?

Growth funding will be allocated to LEAs with an ADA of 20 or less, up to an additional 20 ADA. In other words, new programs are allocated growth funding annually if funds are available. Growth and COLA for existing programs are determined by Budget Act and may or may not be allocated per annum.

  1. What happens if there is a budget shortfall for the Adults in Correctional Education Program?

The Budget Act provides control language that permits the State Controller, with approval of the Director of Finance, to transfer "unobligated" funds between specified programs to cover "any shortfalls" and "fully fund" eligible participation in the jail education program.

Funding and Apportionment Questions: Principal Apportionment Section, or 916-324-4541.

Program Information

  1. How do I start a jail education program?

    First, the administrator should discuss the idea with the county superintendent of schools (or designee). The support of the county sheriffs is required to establish adult education classes for inmates in jails and camps, pursuant to EC sections 1900-1907. The second step is to contact the county sheriffs, who may offer support (funding, staffing, space). Third, the approval for operating jail programs must be in the form of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is an agreement between the district providing services and jails (sheriff's office) that receive services. The county superintendent must sign the MOU. Send a copy of the MOU and the new jail program to the CDE, Adult Education Office, 1430 N Street, Suite 4202, Sacramento, California, 95814, for review, tracking, and compliance monitoring.

    Finally, contact the CDE, Principal Apportionment Section, at or at 916-324-4541 for information on how to report the Adults in Correctional Facilities ADA using the Principal Apportionment Revenue Limit software. The software can be downloaded at CDE Software & Forms.
  1. How many jail education programs are there in California, and what governs program operation?

Pursuant to EC sections 1900 through 1905, the county board of supervisors and county superintendent of schools may establish classes for adults in correctional facilities (jails) for the purpose of providing instruction in civics, vocational training, literacy (adult basic education, General Educational Development diploma, ESL, health, homemaking, and technical and general education). Currently, there are 15 jail education programs funded by Budget Act Item 6100-158-0001, which allows for the collection of adult ADA apportionments to maintain classes. Funds are also appropriated to maintain classes for adults in corrections (halfway houses and jails) pursuant to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Title II: Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), Section 225 (Title 29 USC 3305). In 2023-24, there are 26 WIOA, Title II: AEFLA Section 225 programs in California.

  1. What state agency allocates the funding, and what factors are considered?

Participating LEAs need to know that the CDE will apportion the funds. The CDE begins its calculation for reimbursement of funds during January through March. For example, calculations for reimbursement for services provided in prior fiscal year begin in February of the current fiscal year. Also, funding for the jail education program is based on amounts received in prior years, prior year ADA, growth and COLA (if allowed).

  1. Is this a block grant program?

    This program is not included in the LCFF program for charter schools.

  1. When can LEAs expect to receive reimbursement once the CDE has completed the calculations and determined the amount of reimbursement to each LEA?

The AICF exhibit calculates funding for eligible LEAs, including school districts and county offices of education that offer schools and classes for prisoners. The entitlements are processed and certified at the Advance, P-1, P-2, and Annual of each fiscal year. The Advance Principal Apportionment, certified by July 20, is based primarily on prior fiscal year funding and establishes each LEA’s monthly state aid payment amount for July through January. The First Principal Apportionment (P-1), certified by February 20, is based on the first period data that LEAs report to CDE in November through January and establishes each LEA’s monthly state aid payment for February through May. The Second Principal Apportionment (P-2), certified by June 25, is based on the second period data that LEAs report to CDE in April and May and is the final state aid payment for the fiscal year ending in June. The Annual Apportionment, certified by February 20 in the following year, is based on annual data that LEAs report to CDE. After the Annual Apportionment certification, Annual is recertified three times, known as Annual R1, R2, and R3, with LEAs reporting corrected data at specific times. Any data corrections are reflected with the subsequent years’ certifications. Distribution of funds for LEAs can be found at Principal Apportionment.

Program Monitoring and Technical Assistance

  1. Are the jail education programs and classes required to have a compliance monitoring review?

Yes. The funding for the state apportionment programs is based on the actual expenses incurred by the program and cannot exceed the statewide adult education base revenue limit per ADA for classes at up to 80 percent (EC section 41841.5, Budget Act Item 158) and may include allowances for growth and COLA. The eligibility requirement for apportionment classes and courses that are offered in the jails requires that all classes and courses meet the CDE Adult Education Course Approval criteria, as well as comply with state statutes for the operation of adult education courses (EC sections 1903, 46191, 52302, and 52509). Inmates enrolled in a high school diploma completion program must meet the state and district graduation requirements, including Algebra I requirements in EC section 51224.5. Finally, adult education programs, including jail education programs and classes, are required by state law to participate in Federal Program Monitoring. The WIOA, Title II: AEFLA, Section 225 (Title 29, USC 3305) programs serving the inmate population also receive a monitoring for compliance review.

  1. How do I locate my regional education consultant for adult education if I have questions about classes and programs?
    Please contact the Adult Education Office at or 916-322-2175. The regional education consultant is a resource to answer questions about adult education programs and classes and to provide technical assistance.
Questions:   Adult Education Office | | 916-322-2175
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 26, 2023