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Hundreds Rally to Protect Funding for Adult Education Programs

The rally took place Tuesday in San Mateo.

Hundreds rallied outside a school for adults in San Mateo on Tuesday morning, hoping to preserve state funding for adult education programs that remain under threat if the governor's budget is approved.

Students, teachers and education advocates gathered in the sun outside the San Mateo Adult School, protesting proposed changes at the state level that could allow school districts to siphon money away from adult schools depending on other needs.

San Mateo Adult School director Larry Teshara said the entire adult school system could be destroyed by changes in the state budget and school funding.

"Adult school funds can now be used for other programs, and Gov. Brown's current budget proposal includes a new funding formula that would eliminate dedicated funding for adult schools entirely," Teshara said.

Adult students carried signs that read: "I Need English, Please Help Me," and "I Am a Mom, Help Me Help My Children."

Bob Harper, director of Campbell Adult and Community Education for the Campbell Union High School District, said adult programs help people -- especially immigrants and undereducated adults -- forge better lives for themselves and more successful futures for their children.

"In the moment when adult schools are most needed, we have to be there," Harper said. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, whose mother taught in the San Mateo adult education system for more than 40 years, said state legislators need to "keep their hands off adult education programs in California."

"We need an educated population, and the adult school makes that happen," Speier said. "Adult education isn't dispensable, it's indispensable," she said.

-- Bay City News

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