Parents and students protest Oakland school closure – CBS San Francisco

Bestinau got that-

OAKLAND (KPIX) — Parents and community members opposed to some of the school closures announced by Oakland Unified School District gathered in front of La Escuelita School Saturday before marching to City Hall to put pressure on school board members to reverse their decision.

“My kids might have to walk through a very, very dangerous area to get to a school further away. It would mean the community we’ve built over the years would fall apart,” said Azlinah Tambu, a parent with two students in fifth grade and one in first grade.

Oakland Unified School District leaders have said they are facing a structural shortfall of nearly $40 million. They also claim that OUSD has too many schools since losing 15,000 students in two decades. The district has about 80 schools and 33,000 students compared to other Northern California communities with about the same number of students and about half the number of schools.

“All their numbers they give us at every meeting, it changes so we want real numbers, we want an investigation into where our money is going,” said Max Orozco, another parent at the meeting.

The school board voted in February to proceed with the closing of three schools at the end of the academic year, including the high school in La Escuelita, as well as Parker K-8 and Community Day School. The organizers hope that by protesting week after week they can change the minds of the board members.

“Keep fighting, keep fighting and keep pushing back until they understand you can’t uproot our children!” said Rochelle Jenkins, an OUSD parent. “I just hope they really consider what they’re doing to our children and our communities.”

Parents said a smaller enrollment is not a reason to take away an important educational resource for their family. They also suggest that closing campuses could be an excuse to bring in charter schools.

“We deserve to have that kind of private school feeling and private school-like education in a public school for our kids in Deep East Oakland,” Tambu told KPIX, citing today’s smaller student totals. “So they’re going to close our school, evict our kids and have them replaced with a charter school that targets the people who are gentrifying that area.”

OUSD has not yet responded to a request from KPIX for comment on Saturday’s rally.

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