BUSD Dismisses Rumors About Berkeley Adult School Closure

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 08, 2010 - 09:46:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District dismissed rumors stirred up online over the weekend about the closure of the Berkeley Adult School. 

Berkeley Unified School District Mark Coplan said Monday that although the adult program likely faces another round of cuts—the last one slashed funding by $1.5 million—there was no plan to close it down. 

According to Coplan, the Berkeley Board of Education will discuss $2.67 million in cuts for the next school year at its Wednesday meeting, of which $100,000 is expected to come from the adult school. 

Coplan said that a satellite Older Adult Program would be “at risk in the event that it is not possible to negotiate a two day furlough, cutting the cost of two staff development days.” 

“These are the only effects that would impact the adult school,” Coplan said. 

The rumor, which first surfaced on LeConte Chat—a Yahoo! group formed by LeConte neighborhood residents—Sunday said the “Berkeley Adult School may go out of business after June 2010.” 

“There are strong rumors that the Berkeley School District will stop funding the venerable Berkeley Adult School at the end of the current semester,” the message said. “That would be a hard blow for Berkeley's many adult and senior residents who take advantage of the learning opportunities offered.” 

The message also asked recipients to send a brief message to Berkeley Unified Superintendent Bill Huyett appealing this decision. 

The Berkeley Federation of Teachers has been lobbying the school district to support the adult school program, which serves over 10,000 students every year. 

The school has already eliminated summer session and pronunciation classes and increased the number of students in English language classes.