City, state and union leaders reject OUSD’s school consolidation plan

City, state and union leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon at Oakland City Hall to denounce the Oakland School Board’s decision to close, merge or reduce grades at 11 schools, a decision rejected by many many members of the community.

Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan stood alongside State Deputy Mia Bonta, D-Oakland, City Council Speaker Pro Tempore Sheng Thao and, among others, Teachers Union President Keith Brown to speak out against the vote.

“None of these school closures are justified,” school board member Mike Hutchinson said Wednesday afternoon at the rally. Hutchinson voted against the board action.

Sam Davis, Aimee Eng, Gary Yee and Shanthi Gonzales voted in favor, Samantha Pal, Clifford Thompson and Natalie Gallegos Chavez abstained and VanCedric Williams also voted no.

Members of the teachers’ union said changes voted on early Wednesday morning will affect schools that serve mostly black students.

Aiming to close schools in black and brown communities has been a model for the Oakland Unified School District, according to the teachers’ union, which called Wednesday morning’s decision reckless and pledged to act.

“Today, our union will take legal action against Oakland Unified to prevent the hasty and unnecessary closure of schools serving predominantly black students,” said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, which serves as the union. teachers.

“And, if that happens, I’m prepared to call on educators in Oakland to strike to protect our schools,” he said. “OUSD has the reserves to keep the schools running, and that excuse needs to stop now.”

SEE ALSO: Hungry for a cause: Oakland educators on day 8 of hunger strike to oppose school closures

The union plans to file a complaint with the California Public Employment Relations Board, which administers collective bargaining laws covering public school employees and employees of a host of other organizations.

Bonta said she introduced emergency legislation to relieve the Oakland Unified School District of pressure to close and consolidate schools due to declining enrollment and financial pressures.

Details of that legislation were not immediately available late Wednesday afternoon.

Comments are closed.