Sacramento's Fremont closure plan puts adult education on the chopping block

6:10 PM, Apr 22, 2010   |    comments
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  • Lily Zhang, from China, studies English at Fremont Adult School.
  • An intermediate English class at Fremont School.

SACRAMENTO, CA - Teachers and students at Fremont Adult School were dismayed to learn Thursday that due to proposed budget cuts, this will probably be the last semester they will be able to take classes at their beloved school.

The Sacramento Unified School District is planning to cut Adult Education by 35 percent, or nearly $5,000,000. That means the 90-year-old school is slated for closure by this summer.

The school provides English as a second language (ESL) programs and classes to help students obtain their high school diploma (GED).

Teachers say students from all over the world have attended Fremont School to pursue their American dream,  mastering English and earning high school diplomas with many going on to college.

Some Fremont students said the school is the first place where they are introduced to the American way of life.

"I like the teachers," said Luisa Lozano, an immigrant from Colombia. "The teachers are wonderful teachers. The teachers are the most dedicated teachers. They teach us not just English, they teach us about the life."

District officials said they are planning to move the ESL programs to their other sites, like the Florin Technology Education Center. However, the GED program's future still has not been decided.

Fremont students said it is the environment at Fremont School that they will miss the most. The relationship they have with their teachers is a special one, and the status of those jobs is under evaluation by the district.

"We have fun here," said principal John Miller. "We do things as a school here. You know, you don't really move a school. You're moving programs. You're moving people and that will be developed at a new place, but it takes time."

The cuts are one of the agenda items at the SUSD board meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

However, students said they won't let the school go down without a fight. "I'm worried about the future of future generations," said Lozano. "I am worried. I am sad."

By John Larimore,


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