Youth Reflection, OUSD Budget
November 2017: Sitting in the Oakland Unified School District budget cuts meeting as an outsider was a unique experience. I did not have a lot of insight into the origins of the budget cuts, or the controversy around them. Upon entering, the room felt immediately tense. The informational session was less an organized presentation, and more just yelling from the community. There was pushback on almost every key fact that was presented.
$15 Million budget cuts breakdown:
How much will be cut from schools?
$5.6 Million will be cut directly from schools
$9.5 Million will be cut from the central office
Why are the budget cuts necessary?
Failure to allocate funding for new positions that were created
Investment in programs without the financial means
How will this affect the students?
Close or merge certain schools
Decreasing books and supplies
The concern at the meeting was about the children. Why would we cut so much directly from schools when the OUSD superintendent and her expansive staff are paid six figures? How would we let ourselves get into this situation?
The concerns of the students are clear. As one young student in the meeting explained, OUSD does not have enough funding for schools as it is. In her school, they cannot afford field trips, bus passes or even paper to print on.
Slides from the November 20th OUSD "State of Our District" Town Hall meeting can be found here