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Award Winning Culinary Arts Program Axed At John Marshall High

Photo by zabdiel on Flickr
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When students arrive back to school at John Marshall High next year, they'll be missing a few key electives, among them photography, dance and culinary arts, the latter of which comes as a particular surprise because of the program's popularity and level of success.

Decreased enrollment at the high school meant that funding was cut, resulting in elimination of electives including culinary arts. The decision to cut courses wasn't based on necessity or interest, but rather teacher seniority.

Says the Los Feliz Ledger:

This fall there will be 17 high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that offer culinary arts classes linked with the nonprofit Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), which provides students with scholarships, education and career opportunities. This number has been decreasing steadily for the past several years from what was once nearly double. Regularly, Marshall has been at the top of pack. For the last two years, its students won C-CAP’s the “Meatless Mondays Recipe Contest” over thousands of contestants in the Los Angeles area. Last year’s winner, Nicole Caceres, won a $5,000 scholarship—and $55,000 in scholarships overall—and had her recipe for “Black Bean Mole Stew” placed on menus at the restaurant chain Boarder Grill across the Southwest.

Teacher Andi Philips helped secure those connections with C-CAP, and sent countless kids off ready for jobs in professional kitchens. Now all she and her formers students are questions about where there careers will go.