I oppose school closures.
Considering school closures in the midst of a Covid safety crisis in our schools is unethical! Closing schools is not only disruptive, but traumatizing, to students, families, staff, and the community, and would have a disproportionately negative impact on students with special needs. There are many unnecessary positions in central office that have no positive impact on students - cut those positions, DON'T CLOSE SCHOOLS!
It is egregious to consider closing schools in this moment. We have seen the deep trauma that school closures have created in communities across Oakland - the monstrosity of Roots students, families, and communities begging for the School Board to listen to them and then being completely and absolutely ignored has happened time and time again. We need real engagement with families around budget priorities. The estimates in the Gonzales/Yee Proposal are thoughtless and unfactual, and do not account for changing populations during a global epidemic. To decide to close schools in the midst of a covid surge, when families cannot fully engage due to sickness in their families and community is unconscionable. OUSD, we can do better; we need to. We've heard from our communities - engagement has been loud and clear - DON'T DO THIS. And yet, I expect this resolution to pass, because our School Board isn't being intentional about our money and future.
For real. It's just time to DO BETTER.
I urge you to vote "no" on Directors Gonzales's and Yee's school closures Resolution 21-3077. We're still in a pandemic! We're in an Omicron surge that's affecting the health and staffing of all our schools. This is no time to further disrupt and traumatize students, families, communities, and staff! Additionally, the community cannot fully engage in the process when the pandemic restricts full access, including when meetings are virtual and often are webinars (making the public silent and invisible).
I strongly disagree that small schools consolidate and close because schools like MetWest High school are recognized schools with high academic standards. Some buildings are new and with a high-tech structure. Most of the students are successful and go to university or college. There is familiarity in the atmosphere and a lot of respect between teachers and students. We want our children to finish their studies because it is a high quality institution.
Closing schools in the name of "Quality Instruction and Student Supports, Adequate Staffing" is a lie! No more school closures! Stop the attack on Oakland public schools and on working class Black and brown students and families.
I am a student a Metwest and I strongly disagree with the decision. This is unnecessary and would affect many of the students and their families. Closing a school while being in quarantine would be extremely disruptive to a student’s learning. I know that by closing small schools, students like me would struggle and I know that that is not good for us. I strongly disagree.
Dear Directors: Think of our existing schools as often the last community center of their neighborhoods and usually the strongest way to know and help the families, voters and taxpayers living there. Support these community centers. Close down admin offices, repair and revitalize the schools. And be better about your analysis, your budgets are not dependable. Do not close schools, it's been shown to be terribly traumatizing and costly. The arguments that the 'new small schools' failed is wildly inaccurate. Adapt your metrics to the students you actually have now. Too often this Board seems to be operating on a "when I was in school" or "when my kids were in school" fever dream.
* OUSD staff reports concluded that Cohorts 1 and 2 actually cost the District (when facilities costs were included). There's no evidence that closing schools will save money.
* Closing any legacy-Black schools will counter Black reparations to repair harm to Black students.
It’s criminal and unconscionable that the School Board is considering closing schools in the middle of a pandemic, after receiving over $283 million in additional funding. Try cutting all the district bureaucrats instead, who get paid millions of dollars to mismanage our schools. Truly shameful.
I am a classroom teacher at Fremont High School. Consolidating and closing schools during a pandemic is completely negligent when students and families need as much stability as possible. Schools are the pillars of many of our communities, every student should have a right to a neighborhood public school without having to travel long distances. The fact that many of the schools proposed historically and most likely in the future are in the flatlands in East and West Oakland shows a clear de facto racist agenda which will disrupt many black and brown communities.
I oppose school closures! I am going to quote Salem Peterson: Closing any legacy-Black schools will counter the plans of the Black reparations proposal to repair harm to Black students. Please don't do this.
My name is Olivia Udovic, 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.
Closing any legacy-Black schools will counter the plans of the Black reparations proposal to repair harm to Black students. The "notwithstanding" language in the resolution has no teeth to pause closures of schools with large numbers of Black students. The community cannot fully engage in the process when the pandemic restricts full access, including when meetings are virtual and often are webinars (making the public silent and invisible).
I am an Oakland public school teacher working at a high needs middle school in East Oakland. I oppose any consolidations, closures or mergers.
I am an OUSD teacher & I oppose this resolution.
We are approaching year 3 of an incredibly disruptive pandemic. Schools are key communities for our students, and they need the consistency of the school they have been attending STAYING OPEN. Historically, school closures in OUSD have disproportionately impacted Black and Brown students.
The Alameda County Grand Jury has investigated OUSD's mismanagement of money multiple times over the past few years. If OUSD spent less money on central office staff and other unnecessary expenditures, such as three commercial trucks (https://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/mismanagement-and-misspending-ca-schools-risk-losing-160-million-in-covid-19-stimulus/2690809/), they would have the money to keep schools open.
It is egregious that OUSD is considering this in the midst of the Omicron surge while over 1000 students are prepared to strike to ensure schools have weekly testing and masks.
However well intentioned, this resolution perpetuates the myth that school closures save money. Actually, since staffing is the main district expense, smaller schools cost little more to run, especially in the legal environment of Prop 39 and the physical environment of OUSD’s existing footprint. The cost of school consolidations to OUSD for expansion of space in receiving sites and enrollment loss from closed schools has far exceeded any minimal savings achieved from closures, resulting in net cost to the district. Smaller schools do not entail smaller class size which is largely set by contract and statute. They do provide an opportunity for fewer exposures during this pandemic, and neuropsychological benefit to students in processing a smaller universe of social contacts.
This is unfair. You all voted not to to vote on this months ago. This will significantly impact black students who are already underserved. In addition we are in the middle of a Pandemic. The closures perpetuate in equities in our community. Listen to those who are enrolled in the schools and teach these children! Oakland unified must do better
Closing community schools traumatizes students and harms neighborhoods.
It is unconscionable that y’all are spending your time trying to close down schools. How about meeting the demands of OEA’s safety bargaining team, and OUSD students? Closing schools is NOT the answer. Use your time, energy, and resources to invest in students, staff, and community. Y’all should be deeply ashamed of yourself for even suggesting to close down schools right now. This action demonstrates how you are NOT for the students and families of Oakland.
I strongly oppose school closures and consolidations. This measure is so misaligned with the vision of OUSD and negligent. Closing schools not only directly impacts OUSD families and students, Educators, and providers, but an entire community.