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Oakland cannot keep failing our families and our kids – and then closing schools to move us to another failing school. We’re taking action to get our kids access to the education they deserve. In partnership with The Oakland REACH, we are demanding our leaders focus on quality for all students. We are pushing for an Opportunity Ticket to ensure all kids have a chance – that they don’t just have choice, that they have ACCESS.   

Closing schools will disproportionately affect Black and Brown families

From the Oakland Post, Nov. 30, 2018: “Significantly, no closings are proposed for schools serving hill areas and more affluent students. Schools that are protected from the threat of closure include: Claremont Middle, Edna Brewer Middle, Oakland Technical High, Hillcrest (K-8), Piedmont Avenue (K-5), Peralta (K-5), Chabot (K-5) and Glenview (K-5).”

School quality is largely distributed by neighborhood

Neighborhoods were created through racist segregationist policies. We have a moral obligation to all the children of Oakland to break this cycle and provide greater opportunity to the families with the highest needs.

We must start listening to our most underserved families

Like Micshell Bunton and her family: “We need more than a lottery’s chance. I’m going to keep fighting – for our communities, for our kids – so that everyone can have access to a quality education. I’m wiser, I’m determined. I’m powerful. Let’s make it easier for more Oakland parents to feel the same. It’s time for access, not just choice.”

Proposal Actions

OUSD Enrollment Policy Changes

Deadline: 1st or 2nd OUSD BOE Meeting in January 2019

OUSD Open Enrollment Policy (BP 5116.1) and Admin Regulations (AR 5116.1) should be modified to give a priority referred to in this proposal as an “Opportunity Ticket.” The Opportunity Ticket priority should give preference to families zoned for or currently attending schools that will be closed, consolidated, merged, or redesigned significantly (such as redesigning to become a magnet school) or any terminology the District may use that translates to major changes to a school and it’s community. We define “Closing” schools to include any campus that was merged or consolidated, or changed in such a way that forces families to attend school at a new site. (The priority should be placed below the Sibling Priority, but above the Neighborhood Priority.)

Charter School Enrollment Policy Changes

Charter schools enrollment policies and AR’s must also be modified to give an Opportunity Ticket priority to underserved families zoned or currently attending schools that will be closed, consolidated, merged, or redesigned significantly (such as redesigning to become a magnet school) or any terminology the District or Charter Schools may use that translates to major changes to a school and it’s community. We define “Closing” schools to include any campus that was merged or consolidated, or changed in such a way that forces families to attend school at a new site. We have already reached out to charter schools in Oakland to demand that they too change their enrollment policies. Thus far, all the charter schools that we have spoken with are ready to make the changes to their enrollment policies just as soon as they receive a waiver from the material revision process from OUSD. (The priority should be placed below the Sibling Priority, and no lower than the 2nd highest priority, and higher than the neighborhood priority.)

The approved OUSD policy(ies) and Charter School Waivers must be in place before recommendations regarding the City Wide Plan, Cohort 2 or future cohorts, are made to the Board in February 2019.

The Oakland REACH & The State of Black Education - Oakland offer the following support:

a. Thought partnership and a study session, focus groups or any other feedback mechanisms that would be of service to the District and Charter Schools to make the proposed changes.
b. Communication and engagement support. Sharing our stories.
c. Parent Advocacy.