Serra Adult School Fights Eviction Notice

Serra Adult School Fights Eviction Notice

Serra.jpgWhen the WCCUSD Board of Education voted last month to evict adult education classes from their long-established Serra Adult School campus, the abrupt decision stunned the teachers, students, and staff of Serra Adult School.

The Serra Adult School serves a mostly low income and immigrant population, though classes are open to anyone.  The site is home to four ESL classes, and High School Diploma, GED and Adult Basic Education (the adult version of an elementary school education) programs during the day; and at night there are job training classes.

The Board made the decision to evict the Adult School with no input from teachers or students, and now district staff is fast-tracking the process. Superintendent Duffy says the Serra site will house a new elementary school slated to supplant the adult school “only temporarily”; after four years, the school will need to move to a larger location. Then presumably the district will sell the site to a charter school.

Serra’s central location, near the San Pablo/Richmond border, conveniently serves students from Central Richmond, San Pablo or points north. District staff has proposed to move ESL classes to Alvarado Adult School, at the furthest southern edge of the school district, but a recent student survey of ESL students showed that only 8% would be able to attend classes there. With this dramatic loss in attendance, the adult school would lose a large chunk of its funding.

Lead Teacher Kristen Pursley maintains that the eviction is immoral, calling it "a social justice issue.” Other adult school teachers argue that the district is taking a valuable resource from West County’s most vulnerable residents. But teachers and student are going to the mat for Serra; last week the El Cerrito Democratic Club passed a resolution condemning the eviction, and similar resolutions from three West County city councils and the county Democratic Party are pending.

Please join Serra Adult School teachers, student and supporters at a rally on Wednesday, May 10 at LaVonya DeJean Middle School. The rally will start at 5:30, and is scheduled before the school board meeting, which will begin at 6:30.