|The OUSD board reversed its decision to close five schools at the end of this school year, doing so at a time when the district is having its finances closely scrutinized as it is still paying back a loan to the state from going into receivership two decades ago. Instead of closing at the end of this school year, as the Oaklandside reports: “Brookfield Elementary, Carl B. Munck Elementary, Grass Valley Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary, and Korematsu Discovery Academy will stay open, and Hillcrest K-8, which would have lost its middle school, will remain intact.”
How can OUSD afford to keep these schools open? We explore in the latest FIA exclusive blog.
Why did the board vote to close schools in the first place?
On February 8, 2022, the Oakland Unified School District voted to close two schools at the end of the school year, and five more schools the following year. At the end of the school year, Parker Elementary and Community Day School closed. Brookfield, Carl B. Munck, Grass Valley, Horace Mann, and Korematsu Discovery Academy were slated to close at the end of the 2022-23 school year (Prescott would stay open, though it was on the initial closure list and used in the staff report graphic below).
The high cost to run the schools and their comparably low academic performance are key reasons cited by the district why those schools were selected to close. According to a January 31, 2022 school board presentation by OUSD staff, per-student expenditures at seven schools all outpaced revenues by more than $1,000 per student: