Oakland school board moves forward with plans to close schools despite heavy pushbacks

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Passionate moments at Oakland’s Unified School District meeting Wednesday night, with at least one person leaving the hearing area to confront board members.

After months of debate and several votes, the board has again decided to proceed with the closure of several schools in the district starting this fall.

“I don’t believe we have the resources to sustain the number of schools we have and the footprint. It’s draining our resources too much,” said board member Aimee Eng.

RELATED: Oakland School Board Member Speaks Out After Resigning Amid Districtwide Controversy

Some board members say that, while difficult, the closures are necessary because of the school district’s budget shortfall.

They point to the fact that even with a one-time infusion of cash expected to arrive soon, the district’s long-term health remains bleak without the closures.

But this message was not well received by some members of the community.

RELATED: Preliminary list of Oakland school closures released without OUSD consent

Both in meetings, but also in the field.

In late May, a group of parents from Parker Elementary in East Oakland began a sit-in protest on the school grounds.

“I and a group of mothers and a group of children and community members have decided not to leave, to stay and to occupy the school,” said mother Azlinah Tambu.

But with Wednesday’s meeting the last of the year for the OUSD board, at least some schools appear to be closing for good.

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