Oakland’s adult education programs would be slashed by nearly 40 percent in 2010-11 ($4.5 million of the $11.5 million they currently receive in state funding), if preliminary budget recommendations made by Superintendent Tony Smith are approved by the school board in January.
The recommendations, to be discussed at Wednesday’s school board meeting and voted on Jan. 27, contain few specifics, such as which services (aside from adult ed) would be cut and by how much. But the presentation does give us an idea of how the pain of a $28 million cut — Oakland Unified’s projected deficit for the 2010-11 school year — might be shared across the district.
K-12 schools would absorb $9.3 million of the $28 million reduction, which means the budgets of individual schools would shrink by less than 5 percent in 2010-11.
The remaining $18.5 million needed to balance the 2010-11 budget would be made to central office services, facilities upkeep and adult education programs. According to the proposal, central services would be cut by about $10 million, adult education by $7.5 million (see explanation below) and facilities upkeep by $1 million.
Adult education includes diploma and GED programs, English as a Second Language, parent education and career tech classes, among others.
Brigitte Marshall, director of Oakland’s adult education program, said that while the proposal was not unexpected, such a cut would mean the elimination of enrichment classes and programs for older adults, which were dramatically reduced this year, as well as a reduction in ESL and parent education classes.
“It’s going to be a huge impact on the community, there’s no question about it,” Marshall said.
NOTE: Marshall explained that the $7.5 million adult education cut referenced on Slide 13 is misleading because it includes $3 million that was originally set aside for facilities upgrades at Edward Shands Adult School. She said the district would use another pot of money to make those upgrades — and, in turn, use the $3 million set-aside (one-time money, obviously) to help balance the budget.