Ever since the state allowed school districts to “flex” adult education funds, or use them for other purposes, Oakland’s adult ed budget has been cut down to less than a tenth of what it was in 2008 to approximately $1 million. In 2008, more than 200 staff taught over 20,000 adults who were enrolled in adult education programs. Currently 25 teachers guide just over 1,000 students.
Next school year, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) expects $14 million less in federal funding due to sequestration and other factors. At a meeting on February 27, the school board voted to cut all remaining adult ed teacher positions as way to create $1 million in savings for the next school year. OUSD superintendent Tony Smith said the proposal to terminate the positions was also in reaction to Governor Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal, which included moving adult education to community college systems.
Though both state and district budgets are yet to be finalized and the board may reverse layoffs by May 15, many teachers and students are worried that if the cuts go through, Oakland’s adults will lose access to valuable opportunities to learn. Click on the video above for more of the story.