Oakland school board closer to getting its vote back

For four years, OUSD board members have endured  –and yes, often contributed to — marathon meetings every other Wednesday evening without much political influence to show for it.

Today, the powerless trustees came closer to emerging from a state takeover that began in mid-2003, during a fiscal crisis. A local control bill authored by Assemblymember Sandre Swanson cleared the Assembly this afternoon. It now heads to the Senate. If it passes, it will spell out what progress the school district needs to make to regain control over various areas, from instruction policy to facilities management.

Many compare the state-run school system to a dictatorship and argue the city’s educational system has only deteriorated during the last four years. Others, mostly through letters to the Tribune, have said the suspension of local authority was  — and is — essential to stabilize the district, financially and otherwise.

 What do you think?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • http://www.greenstampede.com Chris Dobbins

    I think the Oakland School Board should have their control back, but it will not be the end-all solution to the District’s problems. Faced with declining enrollment, deteriorating physical schools, and tension between administration and teachers, the Oakland Schools face many challenges in the coming years.

    Many people could care less if the School Board received their control back provided that there are good and safe Oakland Public schools. I would agree that any decision made by whomever is in charge should be made for the benefit of students, but with fiscal responsibility.

    On the other hand, a locally elected school board has to be accountable to the public, and important decisions (like selecting principals and closing schools) should be done with informed community input. The School Board has been under the control of the state for four+ years and the district is currently in the deficit of $113 million. I support AB 45 to bring back local control and support a moratorium on closing schools and/or selling property until local control is returned.