Oakland School Board to Decide on School Closures

By Ashley

The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Board of Education is expected to make a decision on the closing of five Oakland schools on October 26. This decision is a part of a District restructuring plan that the OUSD staff recommended to the board on September 27.
Last Wednesday, parents, students, and community members spoke out against the closing of Santa Fe, Maxwell Park, Lazear, Marshall, and Lakeview elementary schools at a board meeting that was held at Castlemont High School. This meeting was the fourth open discussion between board and community members since the list of school closures was released last month. Tension was heavy as parents expressed their frustrations during public comment, which lasted well over two hours.
School closure was the main topic of discussion Wednesday night but the restructuring plan also includes other modes of action. Amongst them, it is recommended that seven high schools be transformed into two comprehensive high schools, grade configuration changes for a number of schools, expansion of two others, and restructuring of adult education.
This has been estimated to save the school district $2.2 million. Right now, OUSD has 101 schools for 38,000 students and the district is expected to close more schools over the next two years. A decision will be made on school closures and the District restructuring plan at the next board meeting, October 26 at 5pm at Oakland Technical High School.