Students study on the campus of San Francisco State University in San Francisco
San Francisco State University in San Francisco Reuters

Cuts in funding from the largest among its six member school districts will force the Metropolitan Education District to stop all recreational and leisure classes for adults at the end of this school year and also drastically reduce its basic education classes for adults, according to reports in San Jose Mercury News.

The San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD), facing its own financial crisis like many other districts, recently announced that it would cut its budget for the Metropolitan Adult Education Program (MAEP) by 67 percent. The MAEP, which offered a wide variety of courses ranging from Spanish to therapy-related ones, has been extremely popular in the region.

The squeeze in funding will see 100 teachers and more staff employed with the MAEP losing their jobs after the end of the academic year in June 2011, as well as the closure of two among three campuses.

Worse news is that unless tax measures proposed by Governor Jerry Brown are passed, budget constraints may force the suspension of the entire adult education program. Earlier in January, Governor Brown had said that he was counting on voters to approve an extension of taxes that are set to expire this year to prevent deeper spending cuts in all areas except K-12 education.

However, in a meeting of the Governing Board on January 20, Superintendent of MetroED, Paul Hay committed to running the full program for the balance of this year, assuring that there would be no fall-off of services for students. Next year, we will continue to serve the maximum possible number of adult students with core program and will continue prudent management of the resources provided, he said.

Meanwhile, Mercury News reports that the SJUSD will use the $3.5 million diverted from the MAEP to bolster basic K-12 education through measures such as restoring five days to the academic year, strengthening Saturday school, summer school and remedial classes, and opening a middle school for struggling students.