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LAUSD Academic Decathlon may get cut due to budget

March 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles Unified School District board is expected to approve massive cuts at Tuesday night's board meeting, possibly including the Academic Decathlon.

The award-winning Academic Decathlon program was budgeted at $400,000 for the current fiscal year.

This comes just days before the state Academic Decathlon is held in Sacramento. At least one board member is on record vowing to fight to keep the funding.

The program has been successful. LAUSD schools alone are winners of 12 national titles, more than all the other states combined. El Camino Real High School has won six of those national titles, which allowed them to meet President Barack Obama at the White House.

"When you look at what the program does for C students and B students, our C-team students outscore every student in the state," said Stephanie Franklin, the Academic Decathlon coach.

The nation's second-largest district will also consider cutting $177 million slated for the adult education program, which serves about 300,000 students. Hundreds of adult education students protested the cuts in Van Nuys on Monday.

"This is an opportunity people do not have in any other place," said Janet Lucar, an adult education teacher.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said Monday there is some good news from the governor. State revenues are higher than expected, so the the district's budget deficits has dropped significantly from $557 million to $390 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.