Today, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) again urged the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to restore funding for the adult education program and identify options to preserve the program for thousands of students and teachers in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles. In January, Sherman wrote to the LAUSD Board of Education to express his concerns with the plan to eliminate the program.
"I understand the predicament the Board of Education faces in making program and staffing cuts to close the budget deficit," said Congressman Sherman. "But I am concerned that the cuts go too far in eliminating a program that provides important educational opportunities for those earning a high school diploma or seeking new job skills." "I hope the LAUSD Board and district staff can find ways to preserve the program and hundreds of jobs or we could risk losing it and other programs forever, even if the budget outlook improves in the future," added Congressman Sherman.
Due to a looming budget deficit totaling $390 million, LAUSD has proposed eliminating the adult education program, among other program and staffing cuts in the 2012-13 budget.
The full letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and Superintendent is below:
May 10, 2012
Dr. John Deasy
Los Angeles Unified School District
Board of Education
333 South Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Dear Board Members and Superintendent Deasy:
I am writing to urge the Los Angeles Unified School District to restore the adult education program. Although the proposed budget seeks to eliminate the adult education program, I firmly believe that there are compelling reasons to restore funding for this program, which provides basic education and career training services to thousands of students in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, I wrote to you expressing my concerns with the district's plan to eliminate the adult education program. I continue to receive letters from students, faculty and staff at adult education sites throughout the San Fernando Valley asking for LAUSD's support to restore funding for this program.
I understand the LAUSD budget situation and will continue to fight in Washington for all of the programs that provide federal aid to the district. However, hundreds of students, teachers and administrative staff are interested in hearing from the district about what options exist to restore the adult education program if the budget outlook improves, new revenue sources are identified or fees are increased. I am concerned that once the program is eliminated, the district will not restore any programs and hire new teachers in the future if and when the budget outlook improves. The same can be said for many other programs and teaching positions that will be eliminated by the budget.
I strongly urge the Los Angeles Unified School District to reconsider its decision to eliminate the adult education program. This program serves countless individuals of all ages and backgrounds seeking educational opportunities that otherwise would not exist in their communities. I look forward to hearing from you and district administrators about viable options to help restore the adult education program, particularly after the Governor's May Revision is released.
Member of Congress