Federal dollars, struggling schools and Oakland Unified’s dilemma
Oakland has the chance to infuse five of its schools with an unspecified amount of federal money.
The thing is, the grant in question has some serious strings attached. It would require these five schools (well, four of them, since Explore Middle School is closing anyway) to make major changes — and to make them in a hurry, before the start of the upcoming school year.
At 8 a.m. tomorrow, Superintendent Tony Smith will make an announcement about the district’s plan and take questions at a town hall meeting in the Elmhurst auditorium (1800 98th Avenue). I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the public meeting will be held on a campus with two schools on the list — Elmhurst Community Prep and Alliance Academy, both middle schools that opened in 2006.
I don’t know exactly how much Alliance, Elmhurst Community Prep, United for Success and ROOTS International would stand to lose if they didn’t apply for federal money this spring, but something tells me the school district won’t pass up the chance for much-needed funds.
Should it? If Oakland does apply for the grant, which of the four federal intervention options should each school take?