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New bill would help teachers, community stop school closures

Clotee Allochuku-Albritton
Flickr / Creative Commons

Following the Oakland Unified School District school closure decisions in 2022, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, an East Bay representative, brought forward Assembly Bill 1912. This bill would require school districts to measure the impact on the community of a school closure before carrying it out.

In the past, school closures were made based on three general requirements. They are: One, if a school is not providing a quality education; Second, if enrollment is not high enough to financially sustain itself; and lastly, if there are too many schools serving the same demographic of students in close proximity to each other.

Oaklandside reported the 20-day enrollment count for the 2022-23 school year showed that OUSD had its fifth consecutive year of declining enrollment, with a student count of about 33,726 compared to more than 34,428 the previous year. Two years ago, OUSD voted to downsize and close 11 schools.

Despite the closures, OUSD and other districts across the state are still facing declining enrollment and lower revenues.

Next Thursday afternoon, OUSD President Sam Davis and Vice President Mike Hutchinson are holding a virtualtown hall to discuss the bill.

What's up! My name is Steffi Puerto (She/Her/Ella).
I was born and raised in East Oakland. I have a passion for community journalism, storytelling, and multimedia. I am excited to be a part of the KALW Radio Academy!