Oakland School Board to Vote on School Closures Amid Protests

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Students listen as Mx. André San-Chez, speaks to the crowd of students, teachers and parents who walked out of Westlake Middle School and marched to the Oakland Unified School district offices to protest its consideration for closure by the district in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  (Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Oakland’s school board is set to vote Tuesday on a highly controversial plan to permanently close or merge up to 15 schools over the next two years due to declining enrollment and lack of funding. “OUSD simply has too many schools and ... keeping these schools open negatively impacts all students and staff within OUSD,” district officials wrote in a statement. Students, staff, and parents have been protesting the move, and two teachers are waging a hunger strike in response. They say they were blindsided by the proposal and point to the fact that the move would disproportionately affect students of color and less affluent communities. We’ll preview the vote and discuss the future of Oakland’s schools.


Mike Hutchinson, director, District 5, Oakland Board of Education

L.K. Monroe, superintendent of schools, Alameda County

Vanessa Rancaño, education reporter, KQED News