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Uncertainty Faces State's Schoolteachers

May 10, 2003

Re "Unwelcome Lessons in Budget Anxiety," May 6: A teacher can no longer shop at Banana Republic? A high school student had to cancel a trip to Europe? A Canadian teacher with a house in Santa Monica may have to return to Canada? Please. If these are hardships, I'm a Rockefeller. I have really lost patience with fellow Californians who think they're making "sacrifices" when their extravagant spending or affluent lifestyles are threatened.

In my part of the state, there is a 40% child-poverty rate. More than 70% of local school district students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. Real estate has appreciated so drastically that it appears quite possible that I, a college- and graduate-school-educated native Fresnan with a long professional career behind her, may not be able to buy a home in my hometown, or anywhere else.

And yet, when I contrast my little struggles with millions of people around the globe who can't put a basic meal on their tables, who watch their children die from entirely preventable diseases or consider a basic education an unattainable luxury, I feel lucky. Sounds like a whole lot of people down south need to get some perspective and get over themselves.

Janelle Schneider



Your article left out one important segment of the education community in Los Angeles: adult education. The L.A. Unified School District alone serves more than 430,000 adult ed students per year in programs such as English as a second language, job training, literacy, high school diploma, parent education and classes for older adults and adults with disabilities. Adult ed provides a lifeline to the poorest residents of the city. Cuts to the adult ed program would be just as devastating to students and teachers as those to any K-12, community college or university program.

Jim Chacon

Assistant Principal

Los Angeles Community

Adult School

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