Despite hopes to the contrary, OUSD rejects Lazear charter

Tonight, the Oakland school board voted to block Lazear Elementary School from becoming a charter school (with Spearman and Gallo dissenting).

Lazear is one of five elementary schools slated to close in June as part of a school district downsizing plan. To keep it open, parents submitted an application to become an independently run charter school at the same location.

Most of the students at Lazear walk to school, and there weren’t enough spaces in nearby schools in the Fruitvale area to accommodate the children. Less than half got their first-choice alternative, and only about two-thirds got their top two choices.

In late March, Oakland school district’s charter schools office recommended the school board reject the petition, saying it failed to meet its quality standards. The school board tabled the decision, though, and directed staff to negotiate a partnership charter agreement, a la ASCEND and Learning Without Limits. Until this week, it appeared the board was ready to go for it.

Then came the numbers. According to a fiscal analysis by district staff, approving the charter would cost OUSD $1.4 million, as the savings from the closure had already been factored into the 2012-13 budget. Superintendent Tony Smith said the conversion would wipe out the additional 5 percent per-student funding allocation that he said would be given to remaining OUSD schools as a result of those savings.

State law doesn’t let districts include fiscal considerations in their charter decisions. Smith noted the fiscal impact, but was careful to add: “But really at the root of this, it didn’t meet the quality standards that the charter office holds.”

Many a tear was shed during the meeting, and not just from parents. Board member Jumoke Hinton-Hodge got choked up (though she voted against the charter), saying she was not happy with how families were treated in the post-closure transition process. Hae-Sin Kim Thomas, executive director of the Education for Change charter management organization, broke down during her public comment.

“I know the tide has shifted,” she said, a few minutes before the vote. “I’ve been in this district long enough to know when tides shift.”

Alice Spearman, who often votes against charters, accused the district of playing dirty with Lazear.

“This community has fought and dug and scraped and carried on for over 20 years to maintain that little piece of dirt next to the freeway, next to the gas station. I don’t know why,” she said. “But that’s how that community is.”

When the votes came in, the room was quiet. Thomas walked out of the room before the vote, after it became clear from the members’ comments what the outcome would be.

I’m writing more about this tomorrow. But I know the parents at Lazear well enough to guess that the story isn’t over.

Lazear Charter Academy – Petition and Proposed Conversion Charter _Special Order of the Day_

Katy Murphy

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

  • OUSD Parent

    I really feel for these families. The district says that its mission is to run full service community schools and then they take away that option for many families. I might not feel this way if the families were able to get placement at a nearby school but apparently that’s not the case. The ability to safely get to school preferably by walking is very important. If I were one of these families I’d vote with my feet and leave Oakland. But that is easier said than done Just because Oakland has been named the most improved urban school district over the past few years doesn’t mean that it’s good. There are other options out there. I wish these families the best.

  • LK

    I really don’t know what is going on in ousd any more. Oakland parents need to get angry, vote out this rubber stamp school board, and elect people who will fight for Oakland schools and children. Charters are waiting in the wings to pounce on empty school buildings. Emeryville is going to rent Santa Fe. Melrose Leadership is being moved to Maxwell Park to make room for another of Hae-Sin’s charters. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lazear’s charter was denied because their site is promised to another. Tony Smith has made clear that it’s ok with him to convert the whole district to charters (minus the hill schools, as those parents will fight back). Is this the district voters want? Do Oakland parents share this vision?

  • OUSD Parent

    @LK – I hate to be cynical but I thought the exact same thing when I read that Lazear’s charter was denied. It had to be because the building is already spoken for. I sense a complete lack of trust brewing from this school closing fiasco. It’s unfortunate.

  • Observer

    Spoken for is right! The word from vendors in the adjacent strip mall is it will be a big box store. School districts need to really think twice before selling off their properties. These are PUBLIC properties. This district is forgetting that.

  • Parent stuck in OUSD

    Wow! I thought for sure—SINCE THEY HAVEN’T FOUND ANOTHER SCHOOL FOR THESE CHILDREN—they would grant this charter. They have a brand new charter moving into the OUSD site on International about 7 blocks from Lazear and they allocated that space at the exact same time they realized they weren’t able to place these children who have no means of transportation and are among the poorest.

    Is anyone flying this plane?

  • livegreen

    It would be interesting to cross reference with the original criteria spelling out schools highest on the closure list: I thought those criteria included low #’s of local attendance &/or under capacity?

    Also, is there a link to the staff report showing how a charter would cost the District $1.5 million? It would give us insight into how charter costs work & affect us…

  • Oaklandedlandscape

    I hope existing charters welcome these families. After what the Lazear community has been through, I doubt that they will return to district schools. So, how much will that cost the school district? I don’t understand why the board has to read a report to understand the negative fiscal impact when conversions happen. They should read the other report that talks about failing district schools, and why families are choosing charters.

  • Jim Mordecai

    The Brown Act Open Government law was violated in reaching the decision to reject the Lazear conversion charter petitions.

    The two Board members that voted for the Lazear charter petitions mentioned discussion of fiscal impact of Lazear converting to a charter in a closed session presentation by Assistant Superintendent Vernon Hal. It is a violation to discuss in close session items that are not announced prior to a closed session. And closed sessions can be for personnel matters, contracts and a few other narrowly defined matters and Board discussion related to a charter petition is not one of the subjects mentioned in the Brown Act.

    A transcript of Wednesday’s Board meeting will support my assertion that the Board held a closed session on the Lazear charter application and its economic impact.

    During the Board meeting Board Member Spearman objected to the fiscal impact being discussed. Her understanding is that it is not legal to discuss fiscal impact as fiscal impact cannot be basis for rejecting a charter application.

    I believe Board Member Spearman is half correct. Board cannot reject a charter petition on the basis of fiscal impact. But, I don’t think it is illegal to discuss fiscal impact. After rejecting a petition, there must be written specific reasons for rejecting a petition and fiscal impact would be an inappropriate reason to list.

    The Lazear conversion charter petition reject can be appealed to the County Board of Education and if rejected by the County, that rejection can be appealed to the State Board of Education.

    The fact that the Board violated the Brown Act might be worth follow up but that decision would best be made in consulting with a lawyer.

    Jim Mordecai

  • DaveP

    These people broke the golden rule: stay in your place. Remember when they went on strike? Think about all the complaining they must have done. This seems like payback. Nobody really fought for them.

    Here’s Lazear’s dilemma in a nutshell:
    If you google “Lazear parent strike”, an article pops up from 2 years ago about parents pissing and moaning, but the article about the school being transformed last year can’t be read.

    This school is being erased. Think about it. They pissed off the district and the union with their protest. They have no allies. Those parents stood alone. Poor Latinos fighting the system never really had a chance… the superintendent just wanted them to go away. Even the activist groups left the meeting before the vote on Lazear.

    I have to give Education for Change credit on this one. If they’re the only group willing to fight for the rights of people like this, I don’t mind them getting some of my tax money. I never thought I’d say that, but they said they were going to send their best teachers to Lazear. But there’s no way, having pissed off so many people by getting out of their place, that this school was going to get any real support.

  • DaveP

    Who’s responsible for this, in order:

    1. The Superintendent. He obviously took this personally. Seemed to want to save face after losing the other two schools. He wanted a win. He got one

    2. The principal. He wasn’t vocal enough. It’s clear that these charters only work if the principal pushes it. Otherwise they’re ignored. I wouldn’t be surprised if the superintendent asked him to stay quiet. Parents’ voices are irrelevant.

    3. The yes-men who wrote the financial impact report. It’s a joke. 1.4 million impact? They cooked the books in a juvenile way – remember, closing 5 schools was suppose to save 2 million altogether. Goodness…

    4. Citizens of Oakland. How could we have let a school like that exist without helping. Everyschool around them had new shiny buildings while they stayed in portables. Everybody (including the board+) was ok with Lazear until they turned around. Now that its supposedly doing much better they get shut down. Incredible.

  • anon

    Katy- can you find out anything about the rumors that the superintendent and district plan to take money from schools with kids that have “less pressing needs” and redistribute it to “higher needs” schools? I am concerned, since our school already gets less than just about any school in the district, but since we don’t have many (if any) “high need” kids (title 1, etc.), then we might end up with even less $$. I would venture to argue that our disproportionally high level of GATE kids would count as high need (it’s a fallacy that they can just do well on their own), but it seems that the game plan that came out in the board meeting the other night is heavily weighted towards remediation, leaving the average-to-high performers in the dirt, so to speak. This seems like a real equity issue. I see a class-action lawsuit on the horizon, if I correctly understood that the district will take away federally-granted $$ from a high-performing school to help prop up one that isn’t… Any info on this is much appreciated!

  • Catherine

    The parents at Lazear were not willing to “play ball” as the other acceptable charter converts did – meaning they were not willing to kick money back to the district in the form of overpriced rent.

    The other schools that were going to be closed bargained with Tony to allow him to keep money that keeps his machine running – again, in the form of overpriced rent.

    One word: extortion

  • Catherine

    The dictionary definition of extortion

    Extortion is the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.

  • J.R.

    Dave & Catherine,
    You are both right, this was “chicago style” politics at its best right here on the west coast. Oakland has always been a den of vipers and corrupt politics. Corruption,financial waste, and abuse have always been there.Here is an example of abuse of taxpayer money at the expense of children.


  • Katy Murphy

    There’s actually a different explanation for why the fiscal impact analysis for Lazear’s conversion looked so different from those of ASCEND and Learning Without Limits: the fact that Lazear is slated to close, and its budget for 2012-13 had already been wiped out of the books in the budgeting process. All three schools agreed to pay a comparable amount in lease and “shared services,” as you can see from the light purple line item.

    For its analysis, the district first added up the state funding it expected to lose if/when all of those students left the district (top section, in blue). Then, for ASCEND and Learning Without Limits, it subtracted the amount of money OUSD would have spent to operate the schools in 2012-13 — the green section.

    In Lazear’s case, the green section is blank. The district argued that it couldn’t subtract Lazear’s operating costs like it did for the other two schools because its budget for 2012-13 had already been zeroed out.

    If you look at the purple line, you’ll see the $309,000 that Lazear would pay the district under the agreement for the lease and other services. That amount is comparable to what the other two schools agreed to pay.

  • Catherine


    It is my understanding that it was reasonable for the superintendent and the board to assume that Lazear would want to become a charter school. They have said so for months, they have a history of supporting the school against the district and the parents have a strong sense of community. It it is true that Lazear was willing to pay for the building, then the superintendent and board did know in advance.

    If that is the case, why would they zero out Lazear and not zero out Learning Without Limits and ASCEND?

    Once again, Tony says he would be fine with an entire district of charter schools, but only if they will kick in money.

    The parents of Lazear should seek an Alameda County charter rather than a district charter. They will be able to get a building for half of the amount they were willing to pay and will report to the county rather than OUSD. Better for all concerned.

  • Peach

    Lazear parents and community have petitioned many Oakland administrations for safe learning conditions and a strong academic program. Most of the time, they have been ignored.

    The fix was in for that property for the last several years. It was just a matter of when.

    Unfortunately, no one but the Lazear community cares about its students. The district is comfortable with sending the students to underperforming schools that are distant from the neighborhood.

    Education for Change and the district were complicit in shielding Ascend and Learning Without Limits from having to receive any of Lazear’s students or teachers next year. Besides the tears of the members of the Lazear community, what you saw from others were crocodile tears.

  • DaveP

    ~90% of costs at schools are labor. There are only 9 classroom teachers at Lazear, a principal, staff… and at least a couple would have gone with the charter (they spoke at the mtg).

    So absorbing 5 or 6 teachers into the system costs 1.4 million?

    Also, that’s money that hasn’t been spent yet. Nobody’s been hired or fired. Nobody’s been placed at a school. Labor hasn’t been impacted. And if 80-90% of the money isn’t labor, then what the heck are they spending money on?

    We probably should all stop looking at this because we’ll see some things that we REALLY don’t want to see.

    Any discussion of district expenses without talking about labor is ridiculous. I doubt Lazear’s entire budget was 1.7 million. Is it public record? Can that be confirmed? What was the school’s budget for 2011-12?

    The board also reported that the numbers on the report had changed even since their closed session. When people change budget numbers depending on the audience, you know there’s some shenanigans going on. At best, the financial analyst is incompetent. At worst (most likely) there was a conclusion they wanted the board to reach and so they fed them the numbers as necessary.

    Shouldn’t the report they saw in closed session be made public. What were the differences? It is public, right? If it’s just a “little” different then it’s no problem. If it’s VERY different then we know without a doubt if Chicago Politics has moved to Oakland.

    I like seeing a good train wreck as well as the next guy. This one makes you cringe. They should have closed it when it was crappy without hope,not when it was supposedly turned around and heading upward.

    The Superintendent made this an acid test for power and loyalty. It really wasn’t about Lazear. He needed a win. He couldn’t beat ascend or learning limits.He cant beat the union for mutual matching. There was no way he was going to lose to this powerless group. He went all in against Lazear. Once his adrenaline wears off, he will realize he just pummeled a defenseless foe.

    The people around the superintendent will never look at him the same again. He knows it. They know it. Wouldn’t surprise me if some people got fired now because he has to clean house of anybody who’s disloyal and might talk. Seen it a million times in private sector.

  • Catherine

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if all of the Lazear students crossed the bridge into Alameda? My guess is that Alameda would welcome families who work with the school to have their children well-behaved, learning and contributing. The ADA funds would help Alameda and would allow groups of students to stay together.

    Oakland would not have to worry about the budget for the Lazear students, teachers or staff and they could keep their building. The Lazear students would then be able to attend middle and high school in Alameda as well.

  • Peach

    These moves are harbingers to come. They march to privatization is being played out in all large urban district across the country. Joining New Orleans and Detroit in being close to toal dissolution are Philadelphia and Washington DC. The low down from Philly –





    Brought to us by Broad, Gates, Walton Family, Koch Bros, NewsCorp, and ALEC, along with the numerous publishing/testing/online education/charter companies. Government money is quickly making its way toward Wall Street entities and away from our communities.

  • Jim Mordecai


    Before Lazear neighborhood children could be enrolled in Alameda Schools they would have to travel to Haywartd and go before the Alameda County Board of Education to get permission to transfer from OUSD to AUSD.

    But, they could cross the bridge and enroll in an Alameda Charter school because charter schools, under charter school law, can enroll students without regard to public school district boundaries.

    The loss of school districts’ control over their attendance area is one of the seldom noticed changes brought with charter school law.

    The legislature should be encouraged to pass a modification to charter school law requiring that charter schools follow the same transfer policy that recognizes school district boundaries as public schools.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Catherine


    I do not think the charter school laws should be amended – the Lazear debacle is an ideal example of a school district’s neglect of a full student body. OUSD is not the only district that chooses to neglect a whole group of students.

    Going to Alameda would allow the families to hire a van as part of a charter to get the students to and from school. The families would also be able to have their children in a city that rarely has lockdowns as Lazear students have experienced and the students could walk around town as they grow without the violence and intimidation that occurs in Oakland. But most of all the Lazear families would be treated with the respect they so deserve.

  • J.R.

    Peach Wrote,

    “Brought to us by Broad, Gates, Walton Family, Koch Bros, NewsCorp, and ALEC, along with the numerous publishing/testing/online education/charter companies”.

    You are forgetting the major causal factor of this situation we find ourselves in, an education system that by and large forgot it’s primary reason for existing(giving children the best education possible). A system where good enough is all that is necessary, and there is no embedded system of accountability. The system has failed and now someone wants to step in and do better, and that’s a surprise to you? I know you don’t like it because it messes with your rights and guarantees, but what about the children’s right and guarantees to a top notch education. I feel so badly for the teachers that really do work so hard, but we have been failing for too long in this district.

  • Jim Mordecai


    You like the idea of charter schools not having to follow the same transfer policy as public schools. I don’t and would like to see the law changed.

    In theory, if whole bunch of parents at a public school feel neglected by their school district they can turn to a neighboring district’s charter schools and enroll.

    However, a whole group of students from one school would likely not be allowed to transfer to a neighboring school district by a County Board of Education.

    Whether a County Board of Education approved or disapproved a mass of transfers from one school, the current law requires each transfer to another school district be authorization by the County Board of Education.

    But, no such hearing or authorization is required for enrollment in a charter school located in a different school district.

    It is lack of recognition of school district boundaries in the current charter school law that I would like to see changed.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Peach

    The neglect and shafting being suffered by the students of Lazear and Santa Fe are inexcusable. Similar examples of undereducation throughout the current system cannot be justified.

    But, the privatization of public education with unelected boards, state takeovers, massive school closings and charters has not helped the situation for the majority of undereducated youth.

    The data is in. Most charter schools perform about the same or worse than the surrounding public schools. Plus most charters are more racially segregated than the public schools and they do not provide services for English Learners and students needing special education services.

    The movement of money to charter organizations has resulted in numerous instances of unethical financial and real estate dealings. In some cases, the heads of the charter management groups make near a half million a year. And before bringing up the salaries of some of the public school superintendents, I agree that they’re overpaid as well but they usually are responsible for more than a handful of schools.

    Parents want reform that results in improvement in the education and outcomes of their students. Attacking teachers and school employees (most of whom are parents of the district’s children) does not result in better student learning.

    Yes, there is a failure of accountability and it begins at the top, including Wall Street, governments, and school district administrations. Certain students and communities are considered expendable and undeserving of the best we can offer. Shall we work together and attempt to remedy this situation?

  • J.R.

    I am a pragmatist, so I will accept what works. I have taken the side of the children in this, and I will not waiver from that position. The public money has been flushed down the useless rat-hole for far too long. And the taxpayers have paid handsomely for the privilege of being reamed. Too many think hard work is just “being there” , and that way of thinking and attitude needs to be eradicated if we are to change things. I don’t attack anyone for baseless reasons, we need to do better it’s as simple as that. If anyone doesn’t want to do better, they need to find something else to do which is not a difficult concept to understand. The system as it exists is nearly the antithesis of this and that is a major problem right there.

  • J.R.

    Here is a nice chart on classroom spending that all taxpayers should see.


  • Catherine

    Jim: I am one of those parents that went through the entire chain to have a student transferred out of Oakland legitimately.

    Here is what happened. I completed the form and turned it in to the correct office. I took a photo with the date and time stamp. I followed up weekly. After six weeks of no response from the district I took two paperback books to the district office in the morning. I pulled a ticket with a number and waited. My number was called and I went to the counter. Only one person could handle my issue. I waited until about 10:15 and went back up to the counter. The person to help me was now on break. About a half hour later a woman came to the counter to speak to the clerk I just spoke to; they both looked at me, one pointed, the other nodded, then they both walked away.

    About 11:30 I asked if the woman I needed to see was in – yes she was in the office, but in a meeting. By 11:45 she was out of the meeting but on the phone. About 12:15 she went to lunch. I stayed, reading. About 1:35 – 1:40 I was called in another room and told to take a seat. About 2:00 the woman came out to ask my name and that of my child. She left and came out about 2:30 and said the person who could sign my paperwork was not in. I pointed to my two books and said that I had all the time in the world but that I had given them six weeks and I was not leaving without the signed paper. I explained that someone would be picking up my child.

    I sat. She came out again about 3:10 and again at 4:10 or so. I said that I could wait until seven or eight PM. About 4:35 she came with the signed form. SHE signed the form – no one else had to sign it.

    Working through the system in Oakland is unjust and unfair. The district does not offer programs other districts offer, yet OUSD is unwilling to release students that are legally justified in leaving the district when they are engaged in a course of study that is not offered in Oakland.

    If I had been an English language learner, someone who had to get home to care for a child or elderly relative or I did not have a paid vacation day from work, I would not have been able to complete the task.

    In Oakland getting a good education in a secure, safe and peaceful classroom in which English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Geography are taught daily is very, very difficult. Yet that is what the state of California is paying the district to provide. That is the law and those are the standards. When they are not provided in Oakland, the district makes it almost impossible to leave.

    The only recourse families have for the neglect of the system in Oakland is the ability to join charters in neighboring communities. Or, pay for private education. But the same families that would struggle with the transfers are the same families that would struggle to pay tuition.

  • Jim Mordecai


    Your story is of a terrible way to treat anyone. Your anger at the District is understandable.

    I hope you documented how you were treated and contacted the supervisor of the person that ultimately signed your paper.

    What I don’t understand is what was the transfer paper you were seeking from the District about. I believe only a county Board of Education can issue a transfer to attend school in another district while you still live in OUSD.

    Was there some kind of document from OUSD that the County was requesting you bring to the County office?

    Jim Mordecai

  • Catherine

    To register in a school that is not your home district you must be released from your home district. It is a three part form in Oakland in which you must describe the reason for the transfer. This is for a non-charter school.

    If I had chosen a charter school, I would not have wasted the form, the phone calls and the day sitting in the district office.

    I did write to the district. I copied several people. No response.

  • Jim Mordecai


    I thought the County was involved in interdistrict transfers; but, it only gets involved when a district denies a transfer and then the county BOE provides an option for appealing a district denial.

    This is information from CDE webpage:

    “Interdistrict Transfer/Reciprocal Agreement
    An interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement is when parents/guardians wish to register/admit/enroll their student(s) at a school other than the designated school that is in their attendance area outside of their district.

    California Education Code sections 46600-46601 (Outside Source) permits parents/guardians to request an interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement. The fundamental basis for this provision is the signing of an agreement between districts. Interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement must be approved by both the student’s original district of residence and the district to which the student seeks to transfer to. Both districts must approve the agreement before it becomes valid. The agreement may extend for a maximum of five consecutive years and may include terms or conditions. It is within the authority of either the home district or the receiving district to revoke an interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement at any time for any reason the local board or district superintendent deems appropriate.

    If a request for an interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement is denied, the student’s parents/guardians may file an appeal to the county office of education in the student’s district of residence within 30 days of receipt of the official notice of denial of the transfer.”

  • Jim Mordecai


    The following OUSD interdistrict transfer policy is probably similar in all district throughout the state but I hope the treatment you experienced in trying to obtain the proper transfer form is not similar in other districts.

    Yet, charter schools and public schools should operate under the same enrollment and transfer policies. That would require a change in existing law. One option would be to end interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreements by the legislature.

    Jim Mordecai

    Inter-District Transfers*


    If a student wishes to attend an OUSD school and the parent/guardian does not live in Oakland, then the parent/guardian must obtain an Inter-District Transfer from their current public school district of residence. These permits must be renewed annually.


    If an Oakland resident wishes for their child to attend a public school outside of Oakland, the parent/guardian must submit an Inter-District Transfer Request with supporting documents. Valid reasons for requests include, but are not limited to:

    1. Parent Employment (SB170) – You must provide proof of full-time employment

    2. Continuing Status – If your child is already attending the requested school outside of Oakland, you must provide the most recent report card.


    UPDATE: Beginning February 1, we will start accepting IDTs for the 2010-11 School Year.

    UPDATE #2: For Students entering OUSD from another school district, you should participate in the Options Process during the regular time frame (Dec 7-Jan 15). Once the Inter District Transfer is approved from the resident district, bring the approved IDT to be attached to the Options application.

    UPDATE #3: Continuing students in OUSD who reside outside the District’s boundaries should enter their renewal application no later than June 25.

    WARNING: SABTO may revoke the IDT and/or school placement of any student found using misrepresented, falsified or otherwise fraudulent information for the purpose of avoiding the Inter-District Transfer process.


    *Note: Please be aware that preference or convenience are not valid reasons for Transfer or Inter-District Permit requests.

    **Note: OUSD may revoke entering IDTs if the student fails to meet behavior and/or attendance guidelines.
    Last Modified on 8/3/2011 3:47:38 PM

  • Nextset

    Hmmmmm – some of this sounds as complicated as dealing with a health plan.

  • J.R.

    I am sorry, I know how disconnected the district office can be. They will probably tell you all this hogwash about being understaffed. The problem is they have too many people who delegate work, and not enough people who actually do consequential work. This clip illustrates the problems very well even though it is old:


  • Jesse James

    Could you please find out the rationale and the “savings” amount that is explaining the fact that Grass Valley will have TWO principals (the current one plus Marshall’s) and Burckhalter will have TWO principals (the current one plus Lakeview’s). How is that a savings?

  • Observer

    @#35—–Really?! It’s got to be contract obligations

  • Harold

    @#35 – two Principals is just touching the surface of the fiscal mismanagement from OUSD. Too many Consultants and former Administrators on “special assignment” (TSA’s).

  • J.R.

    Funny you should bring up fiscal mismanagement, here is a good read on OUSD’s greatest escapade of fiscal mismanagement(up to now, that is).


  • del

    Hae-Sin Kim Thomas crying at a board meeting over opening a charter? I hope she gets an oscar nod. Or at least that the people who were crossing the various bridges she’s burned in the district taped the meeting so they can watch it again and again.

  • J.R.

    Maybe she’s upset because these kids are now stuck in a system that has never cared much about them(aside from certain teachers), and it shows in the policies and performance of the district record going back decades.

  • Peach

    Again, Education for Change worked with the administrations of Learning Without Limits and Ascend to ensure that students from Lazear and other schools could not enroll in those schools. Education for Change and the principals of the two schools publicly stated such.

    And, Education for Change has a charter close by in the Fruitvale, Hawthorne Elementary. This school became a charter immediately after the district spent millions demolishing its moldy portables, built an additional two story building, renovated the historic original building, and refurbished the yard.

    The current situation is a win-win for the charter community, and a lose-lose for the Lazear students and their families who have been steered to low performing schools.

  • Jesse James

    Katy, I’ve been asking about all the administrators who are getting jobs unnecessarily. I don’t think it has anything to do with contracts–principals are on year to year contracts. The Grass Valley principal is only on her second year in OUSD. The school populations are small so needing two principals is unnecessary at both merged schools. Could you pleeeaaase look into it?

  • Katy Murphy

    Yes, of course!

  • Jesse James

    When? :)