Loss of funding puts Hanford Adult School in Jeopardy

HANFORD, Calif.

The Hanford Adult School may at least temporarily lose its vocational nursing program. Toughly 150 people apply to get into this low-cost and selective program every year but now officials say a loss of $1-million dollars in funding has put it in jeopardy.

Hanford Adult School teachers use these classrooms to train their students to become vocational nurses. Many Hanford Adult School graduates land jobs at local hospitals, assisting registered nurses with checking patients' vitals and other bedside care.

But soon, the classrooms could be empty. As the VN program gears up to celebrate its 45th year, it's also preparing for what could be the last graduating class of its vocational nursing program for an indefinite amount of time.

"Up until this year our program has been pretty full but this year with the reduction in funding has really made us step back and rethink the programs," said Principal Gary Marr.

Marr says the Hanford Adult School has lost $1-million dollars in state funding. The cuts prompted them to lay off five staff members and eliminate a number of classes this last spring. Now, it looks like the vocational nursing program is on the chopping block.

The cost to get into the vocational nurse program was $6,000. Marr says the district may have to consider charging students more than double that, about $15,000, in order to keep the program running.

Until then, administrators are putting the program on hold after the current class graduates in February to figure out if they'll start charging students more or simply eliminate the program all together.

It's devastating news for teacher Lisa Parra. "LVN's are everywhere they reign the county they do blood banks, in offices, prisons, insurances agencies, rehab there is just a whole area they are at and they attribute so much."

The costs at private colleges can be around $24,000. Hanford has the only low-cost adult school in Kings County.

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