LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles Unified School District officials are mulling over cutting funds to their adult education program. It’s a move that could put the entire curriculum in jeopardy, affecting thousands of SoCal residents who depend on the program for education and career training.
Hundreds of people held a protest against the proposed budget cuts outside Evans Community Adult School in Chinatown Tuesday.
“We are here, doing our best, to save this school,” student Noeli Sosso said.
They marched in solidarity, toting signs in different languages all carrying one message – don’t strip funds from adult education.
“I spent two years looking for a job and I realized I needed more training and I realized I needed more education,” said Ruben Dennis, citing his reasons for utilizing the adult education program.
The protest follows an announcement Tuesday by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy to impose budget cuts to the curriculum. He announced that the district is facing a $543 million shortfall for the 2012-2013 school year and they need to make cuts to maintain class sizes in grades K-12.
“I, and the Los Angeles Board of Education, are left with no choice but to seriously consider massive reductions in critical areas including arts programs for elementary school students, adult education and early childhood education,” Deasy said in the statement.
Ortilia Castalera came to L.A. from Mexico not knowing how to speak English. She enrolled in an English course through the adult education curriculum at Wilson-Lincoln Community Adult School. She said the program has given her confidence.
The principal at Wilson-Lincoln said eliminating education for the 300,000 adults benefiting from the program could hurt the city’s future.
Principal Vince Carbino said, “If we want to improve our economy, if we want to get our families jobs, if we want to lower the amount of public assistance we need to do that by investing in and providing an education to the adults.”