Several hundred people protested outside L.A. Unified headquarters earlier this year as the school board prepared to cut funding to preschool and adult education. The protests continue, made all the more tense by tens of thousands of pink slips the state has sent to teachers.
Teachers and students in LAUSD’s Adult Education Division rallied in Van Nuys on Friday in an attempt to pressure the district to not lay off a large portion of its adult education teachers.
To help balance a severe budget deficit, L.A. Unified sent preliminary layoff notices to about two-thirds of adult education teachers in the district.
The planned layoffs stand to affect mostly the lower class and immigrants, who learn English using adult education classes.
"We still don’t see a lot of movement from the school board or superintendent," said teacher Matthew Kogan. "In fact, we’re getting the feeling they’re digging in their heels and trying to say it’s a done deal."
An LAUSD spokesman said the district is in negotiations with the teachers' union to rescind some layoff notices to adult education teachers. There are a couple more steps in the budget process, but layoff notices should become final in just over a month.
The district has said the cuts to adult education are necessary because of deep cuts to state funding and a $390 million budget shortfall.
L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy outlined several budget scenarios in his March presentation one of which included restoring portions of adult education depending on concessions from United Teachers Los Angeles.
District officials said in March that winning the arbitration would free up about $60 million that would allow for a partial recovery of adult education courses and schools to serve roughly 100,000 people.
An additional 45,000 (of the current 53,000) people seeking to recover high school credit or gain some basic job training would also be served.