Report Warns of “Dire” Consequences if Oakland's Underperforming Schools Stay Open

A new staff report warns of “dire financial and academic consequences” if Oakland’s school board moves forward with a plan to keep 11 schools open that were previously slated for closure.

As CalSchoolNews reported last week, OUSD trustees recently reversed a decision to close or merge a group of underperforming schools with low enrollment. In a violation of its own policy, the board held the vote before conducting a fiscal analysis.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the decision could still be undone. OUSD remains under state receivership and a fiscal trustee has the power to nullify the plan to keep the schools open.

Alameda County Superintendent of Schools Alysse Castro said the board will have a hard time seeing this plan through.

“I believe there is a real but difficult path forward to do so while balancing the budget,” she told the Chronicle. “The original decision to close schools was made as part of a budget-balancing package, and the board needs to roll up its sleeves immediately and identify the fiscal impact of rescinding the school closures and identify other areas that can be scaled back.”

Keeping the schools open will cost an estimated $5.1 million annually in staffing costs alone. The campuses must be modified at an additional cost of $82.9 million.

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