Adult education students are rallying today near downtown to protest plans by LAUSD officials to cut the entirety of the program because of budget troubles.
Students will be protesting at 12:30 p.m. in front of Evans Community Adult School, one of roughly 30 schools that may not be open for the next school year given the $543 budget shortfall the district faces.
Evelyn Marin, 39, of Los Angeles, has been studying ESL for the last three years at Evans and is helping organize the rally. Marin, originally from El Salvador, said she can't afford to pay for private school to finish her English studies. She wants to improve her skills so that she can attend high school and eventually train to become a psychologist.
"If [the district] is going to cut everything and close the schools, how am I going to finish?" Marin said.
Marin came to the United States about 20 years ago and raised three children, staying at home to care for them and putting her own education needs aside.
"After that, I started thinking about it...I was thinking, it's never late to learn. That's why." Marin said. "So my kids now are bigger, so they don't need me...so I can do it."
Where there's a will, this time, there might not be a way.
Superintendent John Deasy has said the district has been forced to make tough decisions to try and protect K-12 education becuase of the budget situation. He said in a statement:
Having made systematic and significant cuts in programs and personnel over that period—and with no additional revenues forthcoming—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. We must do all that we can to preserve K-12 class size at acceptable levels for next year.
Last week, Deasy took the first steps in proposing a plan to restructure L.A. Unified's administrative ranks and redirect resources to improving classroom instruction.
Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@LATams).