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Deep cuts to summer school leave LAUSD students stranded

April 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Students who failed classes and need to take them this summer to graduate may have a difficult time finding them. The Los Angeles Unified School District has cut the summer program to its smallest size ever.

Any student who needs to take summer school classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District could be in big trouble this summer. Due to budget cuts, at least 95 percent of the district's summer school program has been slashed.

"It's horrible and it's unfair to us. They need to get their budget back up, because we need it -- I need it," said Andrea Rodriguez, and 11th-grade student at John Marshall High School.

"There's a lot of classes I need to make up now that I'm going to be a senior. And now that they're cutting them all off, it's going to be a lot harder to get our credits up," said 11th-grader Kimberly Hezo.

LAUSD officials say even though high school juniors and seniors will be given priority for the few classes offered this summer, there is no guarantee they will get the classes.

"Students can only take one class. It's credit recovery," said Alvaro Cortes, LAUSD assistant superintendent. "Students have had to have failed a class or received a D in order to be able to take this class."

"It's really not fair to our kids that they don't have the opportunity to have summer school," said parent Shiaoyam Yu.

Summer school classes will not be offered to elementary, middle school and many high school students.

With top priority going to juniors and seniors, Cat Noel is doubtful her son, who's in the 10th grade, has a chance to get in this summer.

"I'm not happy at all," said Noel. "My son is signed up for summer school. He needs one class. He needs it to graduate and now it looks like it might not be happening."

LAUSD officials say that five years ago the district's budget for summer school was more than $40 million. Today they say it is only $1 million.

School district officials say this summer there are only 176 classes. They said only 30 students will be allowed in each class and only a limited number of subjects will be offered, mainly math, English, history and science.

"This is only going to be offered at 16 school sites. We have close to 80 something high schools, so only 16 of them will be able to offer these classes," said Cortes.

LAUSD will only have one summer session, starting July 9 running through August 3.


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