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Students upset at multi-cultural center's closure | News

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Students upset at multi-cultural center's closure

LAS VEGAS -- A multi-cultural center in east Las Vegas is a place many turn for English lessons and to learn how to read, but now it's closing its doors because it didn't survive a budget cut.

The Community Multi-Cultural Center teaches classes for adults to ultimately help them enter the workforce or get better jobs. The center relies on grant money for funding.

The director said he thought the application process for those dollars was business as usual until he received a letter showing the school was cut off.

Shirley Hurt and Art Carillo spent months together at the center as Hurt taught Carillo to read.

“It was challenging since going to school. It was hard. People think you're dumb. It is a struggle,” Carillo said.

The 36-year-old man said he still had more work to do here at the community center, but it is now shut down.

“It was a shocker, because I wanted to keep coming,” Carillo said.

Executive director Lynn Austin says last year 828 adults came for classes here which cost $20 for a six-week program. He learned last May that funding, which is distributed by the Nevada Department of Education, was cut off.

Seven out of 11 programs which applied were chosen. Austin is puzzled why his program was not one of them.

Along with the adult education program Carrillo was in, Austin said high school equivalency and ESL or English as a second language classes were also offered.

Antonio Martinez, who is originally from Mexico, said he finished his ESL classes and was on his way to getting his GED diploma.

There are three other programs in Southern Nevada where students can go, but the students we talked with said they felt this program was hands-on. Some of the other programs are mainly computer based.

The Department of Education said a panel rated the programs that applied and the Community Multi-cultural Center had a score that was not high enough for funding.