Under Fiscal Pressure, Oakland Unified School District Grapples With Closures, Mergers

34 min
at 9:00 AM
Earlier this year, Oakland Unified School District proposed closing Kaiser Elementary School in the Claremont Hills and merging it with Sankofa Academy in Oakland’s Bushrod neighborhood following the 2019-2020 school year. The school board will vote on the proposal in September. (Vanessa Rancaño/KQED)

As students head back to school Monday, the cash-strapped Oakland Unified School District is weighing a second round of school closures and consolidations, in order to regain fiscal stability after years of budget struggles and a state bailout. Among the scenarios under consideration is the merger of Kaiser Elementary with Sankofa Academy. That merger proposal, originally floated earlier this year, has been met with strong pushback from Kaiser parents, whose students on average performed better academically than students at Sankofa. We'll discuss the latest developments and what it may take to bring equity and financial stability to Oakland schools.

Guests:

Jody London, vice president, Oakland Unified School District School Board

Julia McEvoy, senior editor, KQED News

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