The Last Cut for Adult Ed in Oakland

Posted on May 21, 2013

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A few years ago, OUSD cut 90% of its adult education budget. Annexes and buildings that were once free centers of learning for the families of young adults and children struggling in OUSD’s classrooms, became encaged useless husks.

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IMG_2190Adult ed teachers lost their jobs and many of them were never able to return to teaching. The shuttered buildings are now dark holes in the middle of the decaying neighborhoods that need such community anchors the most.

That was bad enough. Once the buildings were closed, OUSD argued that it still provided GED and other services, and put these banners up on the closed buildings announcing that services could be accessed via website at other facilities.

IMG_2185Ironically, the banner on the Edward Shands Adult School building in East Oakland, across from the Eastmont Mall, hides the former marquee  that announced classes, enrollment and the like–the evidence that the huge 2 story complex slowly being devoured by weeds was once something more than an abandoned eyesore.

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After tomorrow’s vote, the banner may now serve as evidence that OUSD briefly provided only the bare essentials for the families of a city facing overwhelming poverty and lack of services, and even cut those.

Despite having budget surpluses sufficient to not only protect the decimated adult ed programs, but to expand them back to previous levels, and hire back adult education teachers that were laid off after the last round of cuts, OUSD claims to lack the funds.

The final vote to completely gut adult ed and under-fund other OUSD services, including special education, will happen tomorrow at 5:30pm, at La Escuelita, 1050 2nd Avenue, between 10th and 12th. Find out more here.