Adult education shaky in L.A.

A program serving over 300,000 students might get cut.  Always the first to go.  From The Los Angeles Times.

Still, nothing in her 39 years as a teacher at Evans prepared her for the news that the district's entire adult education division may be on the chopping block.

"The program's already been cut in half," she said. "Now we find out that we are being 'zeroed out' of the budget."

Indeed, according to a proposal presented to the school board last month, there is no money budgeted for the $120-million Division of Adult and Career Education in 2012-2013.

But the district budget is a moving target. The spending plan goes to the school board for public review in February. Then it faces a months-long evolution as state financing numbers shift.

Down the line, that "zero" might turn out to be an accounting gimmick or a political ploy. But for now, it has stoked the fears of adult students and their teachers and spotlighted how vulnerable they are.

"We've had dramatic cuts over the years," said Julie Wetzel, a teacher-advisor with a program that helps disabled adults learn life skills.

"This feels like we're being forced out because they don't think what we're doing is important."

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