Howard Blume – LA TimeS LA Now blog
March 19, 2010 | 2:33 pm -- About 100 Los Angeles adult school students and some of their teachers demonstrated Friday near their campus in Pico-Union to protest its possible closing.
The Menlo Avenue site is threatened because, like some other adult-school locations, it operates out of leased space.
The leased sites assist with outreach to members of a low-income community with limited means to travel far from their neighborhood.
The adult-school division is one of many flash points as the Los Angeles Unified School District struggles to close a $640-million deficit.
Projected budget cuts also have raised alarms among other groups, including parents worried about fewer classes for disabled students, families who could lose permits allowing students to attend schools outside L.A. Unified, teachers who could be laid off and librarians who may see their jobs disappear.
The adult division serves tens of thousands of people, including immigrants learning English and former dropouts trying to complete degrees.
The Menlo Avenue site uses 14 classrooms in a two-story building behind a private Japanese-language school. Its focus is English instruction.
“I want to help my children with their homework,” said Ricardo Estrada, 31, who has made it to upper-level English by attending classes five days a week, four hours a day. “I need to learn more English to communicate with their teachers.”