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San Jose Schools Cut GED Classes To Shore Up K-12

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(AP)

(AP)

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The San Jose Unified School District announced Friday that it will close two adult education campuses so it can restore five furlough days in regular classes.

Redirecting $3.5 million to K-12 education means the district’s adult education program, the Metro Education District, must cut more than half its GED classes and will no longer offer classes for senior citizens, said Paul Hay, superintendent of MetroED.

“We’re going to have to lay off over 100 employees, most of whom are teachers,” he said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Hay said limiting access to what some have called the school of second chances comes freighted with long-term negative consequences.

“There are going to be more people that are going to be dependent on welfare and those kinds of things. So it really starts a downward spiral,” he said.

Stephani Henry said a nurse that helped save her life when she was hospitalized inspired her to work towards a graduation equivalency degree so that someday she could go to nursing school.

“She had a rough patch like me, and she said she went through a GED program here,” Henry said.

The MetroED campus is close to her house, so squeezing in course work around her work schedule when classes are cut next year will be that much harder, she said.

No one on the school board was happy about cutting adult education, said Karen Fuqua, a spokeswoman for the school district.

“In the best world, in the best case scenario, adult ed should happen. So it’s really a sad case that we’re somewhat pitted against each other,” she said.

Classes this spring are not affected by the cuts. The two satellite campuses close at the end of May and the slimmed down program begins in August, Hay said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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