Oakland School Board To Vote On Plan To Close 5 Campuses

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Oakland’s school board was set to meet Wednesday to consider a proposal by Superintendent Tony Smith to close five elementary schools to save $2.2 million a year and use those funds to improve other schools.

The elementary schools slated to be closed in 2012 are Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park and Santa Fe.

Under Smith’s proposal, another eight school programs would be redesigned; two—Burckhalter and Kaiser—would be expanded; and one middle school would see its grades reconfigured.

The school closures would affect about 1,000 students.

Oakland Unified School District officials said they want to make the changes because they operate far more schools than districts with nearly twice as many students.

Smith’s proposal is strongly opposed by many teachers and parents.

The Oakland Education Association, the union that represents the district’s teachers, said in a statement, “The process the school district used to determine which schools should be closed, relocated or potentially expanded was flawed and rushed.”

The union said the projected $2.2 million in savings represents only half a percent of the district’s $375 million general fund.

Union officials said, “$2 million in savings is not worth disrupting over 1,000 lives.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS SF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Milan Moravec

    Every qualified California student should get a place in University of California system. That’s a desirable goal for a public university. However, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau displaces Californians qualified for education at Cal. with $50,600 tuition Foreigners.
    UC tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increase. The University of California Board Of Regents jeopardizes Californians attending higher education by making UC the most expensive public university in the United States.
    Self-serving tuition increases are used by UC President Mark Yudof to increase the pay of 80,000 eligible faculty and others. Payoffs like these point to higher operating costs and still higher tuition for Californians. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income!
    I agree that faculty in higher education and senior management, like Yudof and Birgeneau, should consider the students’ welfare and put it high on their values.
    Deeds unfortunately do not bear out the students’ welfare values of campus senior management and the UC Board of Regents.
    Opinions to UC Board of Regents, email marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

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