The Los Angeles Unified School District postponed until March 13 a decision on the fate of adult education in Los Angeles.

The school board voted unanimously to put off a final vote on Superintendent John Deasy’s plan to plug a $557 million hole in the school district’s budget by eliminating programs like adult education and early childhood education.

At stake in the decision is the fate of Valley schools such as North and West Valley occupational centers, which train tens of thousands of students for practical careers in fields such as welding, aircraft mechanics and cosmetology. The schools fear they will lose all their funding and be forced to close.

Hundreds of people attended the LAUSD hearing on Tuesday to speak out against the proposal.

After listening to their stories and concerns, the board voted unanimously for “an amendment of hope,” proposed by board member Steve Zimmer, which put off a decision until March 13 with the “slim” hope that in the extra time, the state will come up with additional revenue to share with the school district.

The school district lost $3 billion in state funding over the last four years and owes the district $1 billion for this year. Board Member Tamar Galatzan urged the audience at the hearing to contact their state representatives and tell them that “education matters.”

Judy Temes