Smith’s budget cuts proposal, dissected

Some highlights from the Oakland school board discussion on Superintendent Tony Smith’s proposal for cutting $39 million from the general purpose budget. Note: District staff will bring back a report, later, on the “restricted” side of the budget, as well as the impact of the proposed cuts on individual school budgets.

Tony Smith: “This is ongoing work and getting clear on what are our priorities … We’re going to keep working on this… Just to be clear, we will keep working on this until we come to board for the vote (in June).”

Jumoke Hinton Hodge: “I want to support the direction that this is going in. … Let’s keep going down this road, but I feel comfortable and safe on this particular path.”

David Kakishiba: “Upkeep of the facilities has always been the number one complaint we receive as school board members…. I need some degree of confidence that we’re not going in the toilet around our facilities.”

Jody London says she wants to hear from labor, especially about an electrician’s proposal tonight to save jobs by saving $1 million in energy costs: “I’m asking for additional analysis.”

Noel Gallo: “I don’t think we need eight NExOs (network executive officers). I’ll be honest with you.”

Katy Murphy

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

  • Oakland Teacher

    I second Director Gallo’s statement.

    I also remember that in 1996, he took some pretty courageous stands, especially considering that he was the only one on the board who was willing at that time to speak up against central administration.

  • seenitbefore

    Thank you Director Gallo! Finally, someone willing to point a finger of reality at where some of the wasted money has been going.

  • TheTruthHurts

    Every rock needs to be turned over. I’m sure there is “overspending” even in an impoverished district. As with my company, the cutting will likely be a L O N G process. First, a few tweaks here and there. Then, let go the poor performers. Then, general layoffs. Furloughs are probably next. This thing is hurting everywhere and it ain’t over yet. OUSD is probably late to the cutting party, but it’s not pretty out here despite whatever “recovery” nonsense is being sold in Washington.