OUSD does not have too many schools, there is not a financial crisis, nor a structural deficit.
Oakland has too many charter schools which siphon over $50 million a year away from public schools, but we still ended 2018-19 with a $29 million budget surplus.
Even though state funding has gone up over the last four years so that OUSD receives over $100 million more now than it did then, the amount we fund our schools and per pupil spending has gone down three years in a row.
At midnight at tonight’s school board meeting, with no supporting information or budget update the school board voted to cut $30 million from the 2019-20 budget. The latest plan calls for $28.8 million of those cuts to come from staffing, $8.6 million of which will come directly from our school sites. These cuts will lower per pupil spending for the fourth year in a row. There will again be no money set aside for a new teachers contract.
One month ago Governor Brown signed AB 1840 into law. It allows OUSD to sell property. Tonight the school board released a plan that calls for closing at least 15 public schools over the next five years. Once the schools are closed the property can now either be sold or leased to a charter school. There are also plans to sell what they deem surplus property.
Our public school teachers are in their second year without a contract and are nearing a strike. The teachers only asked for a 12% raise over 3 years and OUSD countered by offering a pay cut.
Besides allowing OUSD to sell property, AB 1840 also is an attempt to put us back under state control under an appointed trustee. This. Is why there has been an effort to manipulate the budget and make it appear as though there’s a deficit. They are saying there’s a budget deficit so they must cut $30 million from next year’s budget. If the school board approves the cuts by March 1st, under 1840, the state will grant the district about $17 million. Under 1840 the school board must also submit a multi year plan, this is what there plan to close schools is. Lastly under 1840 the state will appoint a trustee who will have complete authority our our school district. The trustee will then enforce the school closures and budget cuts and even if we elect a different school board, we will be disenfranchised and unable to stop it.
This is all due to our school board. They are engineering the destruction of our public education system. They won’t stop unless we make them. We have until March 1st. #FailureByDesign #WhichSideAreYouOn