LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Jefferson County Public Schools proposed an end to its adult education classes.
The move would turn the responsibility of teaching G.E.D. and English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) classes over to someone else.
Adult education administrators and students spoke out against the plan on Thursday.
“This is a huge disruption to their education in the middle of the school year,” Ashley Pierce, JCPS Special Projects Coordinator said in a video posted to Facebook. “This is just so much bigger than what it’s being portrayed to be. And we are ready to fight this until it’s over.”
Pierce said she and other opponents were “blindsided” by the JCPS proposal to end adult education classes at the end of the year.
No new group has been proposed to take over adult education classes.
”JCPS is one of about 20 school districts in Kentucky who currently run adult education programs,” JCPS said in a statement. “We believe the time has come for us to concentrate all of our efforts on pre-K through 12 education while a community partner leads adult education efforts in Louisville.”
The statement also said, “In the meantime, nothing will change for our adult learners and the JCPS employees who are educating them. When a new partner is selected, we will support them as our learners transition to the new provider. Our employees will be able to stay with JCPS or apply to work with the new program. We believe it is now time for a community partner to lead Jefferson County’s efforts.”
The Americana World Community in South Louisville has served thousands of adult students in recent years.
When a classroom of adult students were asked what they would say to JCPS about the plan, several responded by saying, “Don’t stop.”
“And the people working here love why they do it,” adult student Aracely Sacramento said. “This is the point. They love it. And they share love for us.”
Students said the possibility of having to find classes elsewhere would mean losing a rare source of personal comfort and support, in addition to education.
“The institutional knowledge required to roll out a very smooth program that is going to meaningfully serve the very diverse community that we have come to learn and love,” Americana World Community Executive Director Emilie Dyer said, “it would take a lot of work.”
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