I just wanted speak on the Enrollment Stabilization policy that us being proposed as if would undermine the work that has already been done to unite the school selection process in Oakland. As a father of 3 Oakland students that attend both traditional and non-traditional public schools in the work that has been done by organizations such as Schoolmint has made the process of gathering information, selecting and applying to my school of choice for my children a much more seem less process than it has been in the past and enforcement of this policy would only serve to cause more unnecessary division in Oakland public schools when we need to come together as one. District schools and Charter schools are ALL Oakland public schools! Let's work together not against each other!
I am excited that OUSD is considering ways to share information and market traditional public schools to families.
However, ultimately, QUALITY drives enrollment and positive word of mouth among families in Oakland. Where is the investment and priority in improving school quality?
I am baffled by the rest of the policy that would potentially bring tremendous fiscal cost to OUSD to separate from Oakland Enrolls. Oakland Enrolls has made it significantly easier because it has prioritized convenience and ease for families to learn about all public school options in Oakland. Shifting a familiar enrollment system in which 80% of families apply to a district. school during the pandemic seems like another barrier that will impact our most vulnerable families. Is input from families driving this change? Who has been engaged and consulted? Why is this expensive endeavor a priority now?
Yes at last policy that is pro public school!
Enrollment stabilization policy is needed because the charter school public school competition is a zero-sum game. The legislature wrote charter law as a zero sum game, meaning one side gains enrollment market share the other side loses enrollment. . Like Pepsi and Coke publicly managed public schools and privately managed charter schools are competing for enrollment market share. Huge growth in charter school market share was aided by State takeover and defection of OUSD Administrator Hae Sin Thomas to promoting of charter school growth as Education for Change CMO CEO.
On behalf of the California Charter Schools Association, I appose the language in this proposed policy as currently written. Now is not the time to focus on a zero-sum charter-versus-district "competition" narrative, particularly since doing so will harm the most underserved communities within Oakland. A shared enrollment center is not competition: it is transparency, fairness, and can help support equity across all schools - a shared goal of both the charter- and district- sectors. I encourage the District to partner WITH the charter community in order to develop policies that make it easier for all parents in Oakland to find the best school for their children.
This policy feels like a step back for Oakland Families and students. Separating enrollment makes enrollment in ANY Oakland Public school harder and less accessible for families and is in opposition to the OUSD Board's Community of Schools Policy. Oakland families deserve a simple system that everyone can navigate. Having two separate systems creates the potential for significant inequity and has no guarantee of supporting increased enrollment for OUSD schools. It could, in fact, do the opposite and contribute to an additional decrease in OUSD enrollment.