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Overflow crowd at board budget workshop

OUSD meeting April 6, 2011

There’s an overflow crowd tonight at the Oakland school district budget workshop. People who couldn’t fit in the small board room are now chanting “Move it upstairs!” in the hallway outside.

You can watch the meeting live here.

Here is the agenda, which includes a budget presentation and a list of questions the board expects district staff to address. Check back for updates.

Katy Murphy

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

  • http://www.ousd.k12.ca.us Troy Flint

    An FYI to those interested in the budget: In preparation for the August 6 Special Board Meeting, we expanded the Budget Crisis section of the OUSD website.

    You can find it in the “Site Shortcuts” and “For Our Community” sections of the homepage or access it directly from http://www.ousd.k12.ca.us/budgetcrisis.

    It contains some of the consultant data that was promised including a full accounting of year-to-date expenditures as well as the following items:

    What the Collapse of Budget Talks Means: A Video Explanation

    Video Message from the Superintendent about the Budget Crisis in OUSD

    Board Presentation on Impact of Collapse of State Budget Talks

    California Education Funding Facts

    Education Finance: How California’s Budget Crises Affect Schools – Teach In Presentation

    2011-12 Budget Assumptions

    Consultant Expenditures

    Template for a Letter Urging Legislators to Place Tax Extension on the June Ballot

    Budget Resources

  • Yastrzemski

    Troy, is the 2011 – 2012 OUSD calendar out yet…when is the first day of school?

  • Katy Murphy

    Thanks, Troy. I encourage you all to click on http://www.ousd.k12.ca.us/budgetcrisis, go to the “2011-12 Budget Assumptions” link. There is a wealth of information in there.

  • Kyle Smith

    Dear Katy Murphy,

    Do you know why the Oakland Unified School Board closed its doors to teachers, families, and students who wanted to speak at the April 6th meeting? Many interested parties wanted to be inside for the board meeting, but School Board Members refused to hold the meeting in a space that would accomodate all interested parties.

    According to the Board Bylaws, the Board exists to “Involve the community, parents/guardians, students and staff in developing a common vision for the district focused on learning and achievement and responsive to the needs of all students.”

    I, along with several other teachers and families, filled out a speaker card to address the Board regarding its need to deal with layoffs in a manner that would create as little havoc as possible to school communities. We were not allowed to enter, even though we were respectful and followed all of the Board Rules.

    Sincerely,
    Kyle Smith
    2nd Grade Teacher
    Think College Now
    California Distinguished School and Title I Academic Achievement School

  • Katy Murphy

    Hi Kyle,

    Some board members said publicly that they were caught off-guard by the turnout for this special meeting, but I don’t know the reasons for not moving the meeting to the fourth floor. Did you get a chance to speak?

  • Turanga_teach

    NOBODY got a chance to speak: they chose to not allow public comment. I’m wondering whether this is permissible because it was a “special meeting”.

    Next week will be the regular board meeting: it would send a resounding message if all those who wanted to address the Board last night returned. Even if the Board is uncomfortable hearing it, the absolute stakeholders (parents, teachers, kids) need to have their say.

  • oaklandteacher

    Well said Turanga_teach

  • Katy Murphy

    They did hold public comment at the end of the meeting, as scheduled (but later than scheduled), for about 45 minutes. By that time, many of the speakers had gone home.

    There was so much confusion last night, I’m curious: Where did you hear that there would be no public comment?

  • livegreen

    They DID hold public comment. I agree with just criticism, but “just” means it has to be fact based. Not assumptions.

    One of the Board members specifically looked up at the cameras and asked anybody upstairs who signed up to speak should come down when their name was called.

    On the other hand, it might have been too noisy on the 4th floor to hear. Not just because of the PA system, but because of how loud it was up there (sometimes from demonstrators chanting)…

  • Kyle Smith

    Hi Katy,
    I turned in my speaker card at 5:30 pm. I waited until 7:50pm. I had to leave at 7:50pm, because I needed to go home to get ready to teach the next morning. No one from the meeting came up to the 4th floor to tell us we could speak between 5:30 pm and 7:50 pm.
    Thank you,
    Kyle Smith
    (One of the 11, out of 13, teachers who received a layoff notice at Think College Now.)