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Open Letter to the School Board

Oakland school
Oakland school
We are parent leaders at Families in Action for Quality Education, writing to you on behalf of hundreds of FIA families, to express our opposition to the proposed enrollment stabilization policy. Tonight you will vote on the proposed enrollment stabilization policy which eliminates the Oakland School Finder, a platform where so many Oakland families determine their best school options, whether it be a district or a charter school. It is shameful that in the middle of a pandemic, the district would spend limited resources to hide school information from Oakland families. It is shameful that the district would fail to provide parents a transparent system that helps them find a quality school option among both traditional and charter schools. It is shameful that the school district does not do a better job of investing its funds in improving the quality of its schools.

During these difficult times, we should be working tirelessly to solve acute problems and provide high quality education to all of our Oakland students. We should be working to support all teachers, students, and parents as we transition to in-person learning and ensuring every child, including our most vulnerable students, are not forgotten in this crisis. We are asking you to stand with us where we find common ground, rather than pitting schools and families against each other.

We continue to stand firmly against the proposed enrollment stabilization policy and urge you to stand with us. All Oakland families, especially Black and Brown families who live in neighborhoods with schools that have generationally failed us, do not need more barriers to a quality education for our children. We urge you to listen to Oakland families like us who don’t care about whether a school is a district or charter school, who just want access to high quality schools. Don’t hide school information in an attempt to try to trap our kids in failing schools.

We call on the Oakland school board to:

Focus on increasing access to quality schools, district and charter, not trapping families in failing schools
Maintain a single transparent School Finder system where parents can understand school quality among all public school choices
Invest resources in improving school quality, not in separating school finder system
Listen to real Oakland family voices, especially those who would be most impacted by this policy
Build on community based solutions
Oakland REACH Virtual Hub that offers personalized family partnership and high quality virtual instruction.
SOBEO – School Report Card that offers transparent information on school quality for Black students
NAACP – structured early literacy approach and adoption of a evidence-based curriculum
Don’t make the system harder for Oakland families who are already facing health, economic and mental health challenges during COVID.

Signed,

Tunisia Adams,
FIA Parent leader at Lodestar and Sojourner Truth Academy

Michelle Thompson,
FIA Parent leader at Aspire Berkley Maynard Academy

Lana Chisley,
FIA Parent leader at KIPP Bridge Academy and Crystal del Rey

Lucy Paredes,
FIA Parent leader at Aspire ERES Academy

Rocio Gonzalez,
FIA Parent leader at Lazear Charter Academy

Reyna Morales,
FIA Parent leader at Aspire ERES Academy

Ebony Avery,
FIA Parent leader at Education for Change Cox Academy and BayTech Academy

cc: Deputy Chief of Charter Schools & Enrollment Sonali Murarka and General Counsel Josh Daniels