Superintendent Says Oakland Unified Must Downsize

The superintendent of Oakland Unified is urging members of the school board to move forward on campus closures that would save about $2 million over the next five years.

The highly controversial plan entails shuttering/merging one school in North Oakland, consolidating two other middle schools, and expanding or redoing two more. If approved, that plan would be implemented next year, according to EdSource.

That’s a big if. At Wednesday’s school board meeting, hundreds of parents and community advocates showed up to protest the idea.

Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell says it’s the best option for OUSD students.

“This level of change is difficult and complex. There are no easy answers, but this will result in more well-resourced schools across the city.”

A Citywide Plan recently approved by the board found that OUSD could close or merge 24 of its schools. However, member Roseann Torres cited a study showing school closures do little to save districts money unless they’re accompanied by mass layoffs.

The board could vote on the issue as soon as Sept. 11.