Meeting Time: January 12, 2022 at 4:00pm PST
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Agenda Item

T.-3 21-3077 Adoption by the Board of Education of Resolution No. 2122-0026 - Quality Instruction and Student Supports, Adequate Staffing, Competitive Compensation, and Long-Term Fiscal Stability.

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    Lauren Gerber 4 months ago

    This district's failure to adequately resource schools will not be resolved by further school closures. Closing schools at the end of this pandemic year, after you voted just a few months ago not to do so due to the ongoing trauma of the pandemic, is cruel and unnecessary.

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    Shaniah Ritzie 4 months ago

    I am one of many supporters of the Reparations for Black Students Campaign. The passing of the Reparations for Black Students Resolution in March of last year was supposed to be OUSD’s incentive to invest in Black students and repair generations of harm. Yet here we are not even a year later and the discussion to identify schools for closures continues. OUSD has closed 16 schools since 2004 yet these closures did little to improve the achievement gap of marginalized students. As a result of closures and continued disinvestment OUSD has seen massive enrollment decline in Black Students and has done nothing to rectify anti-Black racist policies and structures. This district's failure to adequately resource schools will not be resolved by further school closures.

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    Naomi Schiff 5 months ago

    I've lived in Oakland for decades. School closures contribute to a downward spiral that weakens the district, empties neighborhood cohesion and destroys community health. Closures encourage residents to move away or opt for expensive private schools. It has repeatedly been proposed as a budget solution, but for once let us try creative thinking, rather than walking away from our substantial public investments in a district we taxpayers want to support. I'm horrified by the closure proposal and extremely disappointed at this suggestion.

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    erin Crawford 5 months ago

    My name is Erin Crawford, one of many supporters of the Reparations for Black Students Campaign. The passing of the Reparations for Black Students Resolution in March of last year was supposed to be OUSD’s incentive to invest in Black students and repair generations of harm. Yet here we are not even a year later and the discussion to identify schools for closures continues. OUSD has closed 16 schools since 2004 yet these closures did little to improve the achievement gap of marginalized students. As a result of closures and continued disinvestment OUSD has seen massive enrollment decline in Black Students and has done nothing to rectify anti-Black racist policies and structures. This district's failure to adequately resource schools will not be resolved by further school closures.

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    Jennifer Quintanilla 5 months ago

    I urge you to vote "no" on Directors Gonzales's and Yee's school closures Resolution 21-3077. I am a teacher at Montera Middle School, and I am exhausted from being in this pandemic. The community does not have the bandwidth to participate in these discussions. It is an absolute disgrace to have the board try and move on this. There are so many negative affects if this passes. This will only harm our community. Are you all ready to be accountable for this harm?

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    Jessica Gray 5 months ago

    This is not the time to fast track closures, particularly in the middle of the omicron surge, where there is deep anxiety with staff and families, in an already traumatic year. There is no way in this current environment that schools can successfully plan a merger and families are desperate for stability. There is a hiring crisis right now, and making this call at this moment will further harm the district's ability to successfully recruit new candidates. The district has yet to make the case on how these decisions will equate to actual savings. We saw a loss of enrollment in the last round. There is plenty of research at the national level that indicates there are many hidden costs to closing and merging schools, that the cost savings are minimal, and that the academic and emotional costs are too great for our most vulnerable children.

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    Kim Nibblett 5 months ago

    I strongly oppose consolidating Oakland schools. Consolidations have a direct and negative impact on our neighborhoods, communities, and students. Neighborhood schools are what make a community. Who wants to or always has the resources to shuttle all over Oakland just to get the kids to school? Why add commute times to a kid’s day? It is the ultimate in hubris and hypocrisy to even consider consolidating. Every student thrives? Putting students first? Your actions do not support these (now hollow) platitudes. Spend some real time at these schools you feel are too ‘costly’. Is the money that you think might be possibly saved worth destroying the community? Please, consider the negative and far-reaching ramifications of consolidations. We cannot build ‘Community Schools’ without a school in the community.

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    Talmera Richardson 5 months ago

    Let’s call it what it is Black and brown children/ families are impacted the most. COVID safety protocols haven’t been adhere to at the schools. For example if testing was done weekly prior to a COVID case being flagged through Parent Square I believe cases could be prevented! I was told testing isn’t available weekly @ OUSD schools unless there’s a exposure??? That’s absurd!!! We’ve all been exposed in some way or another! No one is exempt from COVID! But let’s be clear the schools have received thousands/ millions of dollars for COVID pervasive precautions within the schools. I’m not the COVID police however I respect our teachers, students, and families. I don’t know if shutting down the school is the answer but I do know the district must say to families when testing COVID test results need to be submitted before coming to school, once again my opinion No judgment our teachers are overwhelmed! Overworked! and underpaid. We’re in this together let’s honor humanity! and not the $$$$

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    Nick Palmquist 5 months ago

    We absolutely should NOT be closing schools. How many times do we have to go down this rabbit hole? Closures don't save money. They're racist and have disproportionately hurt our Black students and families. And especially in this moment of a pandemic it's the last thing we should be discussing. OUSD Board and Admin should be leading a charge on Sacramento for more money if that's where you think the problem is coming from. But let's be honest, we also know this District needs to chop from the top-heavy administration. No closures at all!

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    Ms Golden 5 months ago

    Hello. Every time a school closure happens it tends to be those that directly affect Black Students specifically and other students of color. There is always talk of there no being enough money in the district and while that may be true, there is still a huge gap in schools in the hills and schools in the flatlands and such. How about taking some of the money from the schools that have an abundance and redistributing it to those schools who don't enough have enough for the basics? Then, just maybe there would be a sliver of equity. I recall being at a school that is more affluent than many of the others (zip codes, right?), attending the PTA meeting. There was an ask/request for new gates that push out from the inside in case of an emergency, other equipment for the students to use during recess and a few other things that I can't recall. I raised concern for them to think about requesting basics for other schools and it's like they hadn't even considered what they already had.

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    Sayuri Valenza 5 months ago

    I oppose any and all school closures during the pandemic. The harm done to our school communities during school closures will be magnified a hundred fold while we are dealing with school safety. It has been proven that school closures do not save money and it is the opposite of Reparations for Black Students. No school closures! Sayuri Valenza, Teacher, Bret Harte MS

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    Adrian Romero 5 months ago

    My name is Adrian Romero. I am the 6th grade science teacher at Urban Promise Academy in the Fruitvale. This is my 20th year as a classroom teacher in NYC and Oakland. I am one of many supporters of the Reparations for Black Students Campaign. The passing of the Reparations for Black Students Resolution in March of last year was supposed to be OUSD’s incentive to invest in Black students and repair generations of harm. Yet here we are not even a year later and the discussion to identify schools for closures continues. OUSD has closed 16 schools since 2004 yet these closures did little to improve the achievement gap of marginalized students. As a result of closures and continued disinvestment OUSD has seen massive enrollment decline in Black Students and has done nothing to rectify anti-Black racist policies and structures. This district's failure to adequately resource schools will not be resolved by further school closures.

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    Sydney Morgan 5 months ago

    My name is Sydney Morgan and I am a 6th grade teacher at Melrose Leadership Academy and one of the many supporters of the Reparations for Black Students Campaign. The passing of the Reparations for Black Students Resolution in March of last year was supposed to be OUSD’s incentive to invest in Black students and repair generations of harm. Yet here we are not even a year later and the discussion to identify schools for closures continues. OUSD has closed 16 schools since 2004 yet these closures did little to improve the achievement gap of marginalized students. As a result of closures and continued disinvestment OUSD has seen massive enrollment decline in Black Students and has done nothing to rectify anti-Black racist policies and structures. This district's failure to adequately resource schools will not be resolved by further school closures.

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    Maria Pirner 5 months ago

    The patterns of school closures and enrollment within Oakland have revealed themselves to be problematic. The majority of closed schools are in Black and Brown neighborhoods and have resulted in opening charter schools in their place. Families need high quality, community district schools in their neighborhoods. Closing and collocations of sites has shown negative effects on student learning. Please vote NO on school closures!!

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    Alejandro Estrada 5 months ago

    OUSD has closed schools in the past only to once again claim that we need to close more schools to stay fiscally solvent. Can it actually prove that it has saved money by closing ROOTS or merging Kaiser and Sankofa? This resolution should not even come up for a vote in the midst of one of the most concerning COVID surges we have seen to date. Alameda County of Education should be advocating for the state to cancel the loan that put this district in this situation in the first place. School closures hurt our children and communities, much like redistricting hurts voters. NO MORE SCHOOL CLOSURES!

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    Sylviane Cohn 5 months ago

    Kids need safe, supportive, stable community schools now more than ever! Closing schools uproots children and severs the relationships that they have formed there. The school board should be focusing on creative problem solving to keep cuts away from students. Please vote NO on school closures!

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    Jennifer Formoso 5 months ago

    Dear OUSD Board Members,

    You keep closing schools. This has not serviced the Oakland community well. It has not serviced as a way to support learning growth for our black and brown children. You keep claiming it will save you money but after 16 schools closed and money not saved it seems dishonest and deceitful at best. Last time I looked at a list of possible closures it included every school in my neighborhood (Sequoyah). This is while adding 916 homes to the neighborhood. It seems you are not doing this to service the kids or save money, it appears to be in order to service charter schools so they can open in buildings once you have gutted the community schools for entire neighborhoods. Vote no on closing schools in Oakland.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Formoso

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    Samuel Cooper 5 months ago

    I’m an OUSD educator at the middle school level and I think that consolidating schools in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t make any sense. Before any sort of school closures are proposed OUSD should be totally transparent with its budget in order to facilitate the types of creative thinking and/or community conversations which would need to happen in order for those most impacted by these policies to have any meaningful input or to feel as though the district were acting in good faith.

    OUSD’s ongoing policy of not being transparent fosters a feeling of distrust amongst the rank-n-file and those it is supposed to serve. Making OUSD an attractive landing spot and improving its recruitment process would have a more meaningful and long lasting impact on staffing and services than closing down schools.

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    Thomas Demerath 5 months ago

    I am an OUSD teacher and I oppose school closures and budget cuts. We need our schools to continue to be resources for our community. Every year our prinicpal asks how we could cut more, there is nothing left to cut! VOTE NO!

    It is now in the pandemic surge that we need to SUPPORT our students, nurses and schools by providing the money we need to support, not hurt.

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    Robert Staviski 5 months ago

    Shame on the school board for trying to close more schools. This does not save the district money but instead further hurts the communities OUSD serves.