Issues

Stacy Thomas for Oakland Public Schools

1) Public Schools are under attack in the city of Oakland.
  • The Blueprint for Quality schools has already closed schools in several districts and advocates for closing more.  Closing our schools actually costs money and devastates our communities.   
  • Almost 1/3 of our OUSD schools are charter schools which are privately managed but paid for with taxpayer dollars.
  • Charter schools are supported by wealthy people outside of our community who wish to privatize our very democratic institution of public education.  Michael Bloomberg just donated $500,000 to the Oakland school board races to elect candidates who support public school closures and the charter school privatization movement.  Why is Michael Bloomberg spending $500,000 in the city of Oakland?
  • OUSD charter schools exist primarily in the flatlands where even greater resources are needed for our public schools.
2) Money has not been utilized effectively for safe facilities and in support of our Community schools agenda. A couple of examples:
  • Years of second guessing coupled with constantly changing priorities stalled many of the 21 major projects promised in the language of a $475 million school construction bond approved by voters in 2012 (Measure 3).
  • Students at McClymonds High School in West Oakland were required to be relocated to other schools due to the finding of (TCE), a carcinogen in the groundwater beneath the school. There was concern that it could be seeping into the building and contaminating the air in Feb 2020.
3) Our current board has not fought back hard enough against state control of our public schools.
  • The State loaned the city of Oakland $100 million in 2003 when only $35 million was needed to cover over spending.
  • The extra $65 million remains poorly accounted for. Until that loan is repaid, the Fiscal Crisis Management Team (FCMAT) attempts to control and override school board decisions.