The Los Angeles Unified School District school board has approved a budget that would eliminate thousands of jobs, make cuts to early education programs and also close adult education campuses. In 2010, about 73% of the school district’s 677,538 students were Latino.
The Los Angeles Times reported that there were many protesters at the board’s meeting on Tuesday when the vote occurred. Many of them were adult ed students. The district provided English as a second language and citizenship preparation courses to thousands of immigrant parents. Many districts regard adult basic education classes as a way to encourage more parent involvement in their children’s education.
Evans Community Adult School English teacher Marc Yablonka told the newspaper that such cuts would make immigrants’ transition more difficult. “There will be limited places where they can learn the language that will propel them to a more solid place in our society,” he said. “Learning English is the vehicle for that.”
The Times also reported that early education programs would face deep cuts as well and would have to operate based on the revenue they generate.
The $6 billion dollar budget approved by board members isn’t final, and district officials are hopeful they can find money others ways to fund programs, for example if voters approve a tax initiative and furlough agreements can be made with teacher unions.