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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Closed Culinary School's Students Seek Answers

May 25, 2000

ENCINO — About 50 students of the Los Angeles Culinary Institute rushed Deborah Godfrey Wednesday morning, hoping the analyst for the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary and Vocational Education could allay fears and answer questions about the school's abrupt closure.

The chefs in training were also hoping that Godfrey, a representative of the state agency that licenses private schools to operate in California, could help them recoup their tuition--$20,000 apiece--or the class credit they earned.

"Not everything is lost," Godfrey told the crowd gathered in front of the school on Ventura Boulevard. She said that the agency can help them on an individual basis.

Godfrey said the students have a year to claim lost tuition under the state Student Tuition Recovery Fund Act.

Beginning students can get tuition refunds and start fresh at other schools. Students who are halfway through the program are likely to lose all class credit, but those who are about to graduate can negotiate to get diplomas, she said.

"If we find the owners, maybe you can get credit for your work," Godfrey said.

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