Support Our OUSD Students – Your Help Needed Tonight

Help us show strength in numbers and let your voice be heard on Monday, Nov. 27, at a special meeting of the OUSD Board of Directors:

5:30pm, La Escuelita, Great Room, 1050 Second Avenue, Oakland. (Here’s a map:

You have probably heard about OUSD’s budget crisis in the news. The Board of Directors is working on a plan to achieve fiscal solvency, but unfortunately they are of the mindset that the only way to do so is to cut millions from school sites in the middle of this school year. They have agreed on a plan to make a midyear budget cut totaling $15.1 million, which they have said will consist of $9.5 million in cuts to the Central Office and $5.6 million in cuts at school sites. (These cuts will come from school sites’ discretionary budgets, which may mean cutting STiP subs (who work directly with students and provide coverage for teachers), psychology support staff, supplies, and paid overtime and extra time for teachers and administrators. At Chabot, Principal Cannon has been asked to cut more than $68,000 of her discretionary budget, which totals about $185,000. That’s a reduction of almost 40 percent in the middle of the school year, which jeopardizes her ability to pay yard coaches, psychology interns, the small group specialist the PTA does not fund.

Here’s the big picture:

On Nov. 8, the Board of Directors approved a resolution committing to cut $15.1 from the 2017-2018 budget before the end of the calendar year. You can read the unanimously approved resolution here:

During a town hall meeting on Nov. 20, board members communicated a plan to hold two board meeting where they will consider cutting both central office and school site budgets in order to reduce the budget by $15.1 million.

On Monday Nov. 27 — TONIGHT! — the board is expected to hear and vote on a proposal to cut the central budget. Without an another proposal on the agenda, the board will most likely vote to approve cutting $9.5 million from central. That will lead to a second vote on Dec. 13 to approve a proposal to cut $5.6 million from school sites.

For details of the plan and timeline, see slides 26 and 27 in this presentation: 17-2455 Presentation – Town Hall Meeting – State of District Finances – 2017-2018 FY and 2018-2019 FY

To change the predetermined course of events, we need to persuade a majority of the board on Monday to do what is right for our children and REJECT/VOTE AGAINST the proposal to ONLY cut $9.5 million from central. 

That will force the Budget and Finance Committee to go back to the drawing board and submit a new proposal on Dec. 13 for how to reduce the budget by $15.1 million. If successful, we must then convince the board NOT to include cuts to school site budgets in that new proposal.

The agenda for Monday’s meeting is posted here:

Please attend the school board meeting on Monday if you can. We hope to have a good turnout from the Chabot community.

The primary way to influence the board’s decisions is to show up and make it clear that cutting funds at school sites is unacceptable. If we show up in large numbers, we can persuade them that they need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that does not hurt school sites.

Courtney Jones, Chabot PTA President