Why Did Oakland Decide to Shut Down Popular Community Schools?

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    • #484916
      • Total Posts: 11,957


      Much of the criticism focuses on the fact that the closures disproportionately affect families who are often the most in need of the full-service nature of the community schools approach, principally, families of color with children who often struggle the most in schools. As KQED reported, when the board proposed its initial plan to shutter eight schools in January, “an estimated 93 percent of students, on average, [at the schools affected by the closure plan were] considered either lower-income, English learners, or foster youth—compared to the district-wide average of about 80 percent.” Black students made up about 43 percent of the students affected by this decision and accounted for “almost twice the proportion of Black students in the entire district.”

      Board members and the district’s administration maintain that the closures are necessary because of enrollment declines and the district’s longtime financial problems. “Enrollment in Oakland Unified has declined by more than 15,000 over the past 20 years,” the New York Times reported, and, “the district is facing a $12.3 million deficit on top of $3.2 billion in needed repairs at school facilities.”

      However, even proponents of the closures, including the editorial board of the East Bay Times, admit, “[C]losing small schools alone will not cover the district’s structural budget shortfall.”

      Also, it would seem that closing schools would be more apt to increase student and family attrition — as ousted parents would opt for other providers or leave the district altogether — rather than stemming the bleeding. The district has also claimed that closing the community schools is necessary for the school district to fulfill its mission of being a “quality community schools” district.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #484958
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 25,004

      Yet the Democrats who have control of the governor’s office, supermajorities in the state legislature and the state supreme court, and probably all of the elected positions in Oakland, won’t even keep the fucking community schools open.

      They do that in California. They do that in Washington every time they are in power. And people wonder why I won’t vote for Democrats.

      Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

      The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

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