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Organizers urge Cabrillo College in northern California to bring back recently-dropped Chinese language classes

San Jose Mercury News
A group made a pitch to the Cabrillo College board Monday to bring back Chinese language classes.

That pitch included a pledge from one of the county's prominent businessmen, George Ow, to help fund the classes.

The Aptos community college dropped the two Chinese language classes it had offered for four years - one in fall and one in spring - in the wake of the school's ongoing budget challenges that have left an approximate $2.3 million gap that was closed by dipping into reserves to balance the preliminary annual budget for 2010-11.

Chinese language classes, which were dropped completely beginning this past spring, were among hundreds of class sections the college cut from its catalog.

Lea Haratani, who read a statement from Ow during Monday's board of trustees meeting held at Cabrillo's Watsonville site, said Ow was willing to contribute nearly $15,000 to reinstate one Chinese class in September. The Asian Pacific Islanders Community Alliance and Friends of the Chinese Language are pledging to raise another $15,000 for the class, she said.

"I think that it is an irrational and poor decision that Chinese is being cut at Cabrillo," Haratani read from Ow's statement. "I am willing to put in money to see that it continues."
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