NORWALK : Immigrant Education Offerings to Resume

Recently suspended immigrant education classes will resume next month at Cerritos College under a plan approved by the school's trustees.

"We can state definitively they will be continued," said President Fred Gaskin. "The program's back on track."

College administrators suspended citizenship classes and reading-and-writing-skills courses for immigrants last month after federal funding for the instruction dried up. The decision provoked a torrent of criticism from Latino activists.

The courses had been offered since 1988 for people in the federal amnesty program, which allows immigrants who illegally entered the country before 1982 to become citizens by taking classes and a citizenship test.

Last week, the trustees approved a proposal to continue the classes and pay for them with state funds. Both courses may be redesigned slightly to meet state regulations to qualify for the funds.

The college had been receiving $400,000 a year in federal money for the courses since 1988, but the federal allocation dropped to $22,000 last year and was eliminated entirely this year, officials said. The college used $398,000 from its own budget to pay for the classes last year, but officials said that was a one-time emergency expenditure.

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