First, in light of the infamous "March 15th pink slip
date," Superintendent Smith formally announced that there will be
zero anticipatory layoff notices given this year. You can see his
presentation here or below.
Second, there was a presentation by Principal Rosette Costello from
Peralta Elementary School about the successes that they have seen at
their site. Click here or below for the presentation, which includes a student-created digital arts project about the geological formation of Yosemite.
The Board unanimously approved a continuation of the PARS program
that offers an early retirement incentive to classified and certificated
staff. Superintendent Smith explained that this had been requested as
an option by some OUSD teachers, particularly ones in schools that are
closing this year.
Vernon Hal gave a long update during the Second Interim Financial Report on
that status of OUSD's financial health. Alice Spearman led discussions
on increasing the reserve funds to 4% (from the current 3%), which was
Mr. Hal state was not feasible since the State of California was
deferring funds to OUSD (as has been customary in recent years). This
does not imply that there are financial challenges, but that OUSD's cash
flow is altered at times due to the deferral of funds from the state.
The Board and Tony Smith also discussed the impact that potential 2012
ballot initiatives would have on the District's revenue. Click here to watch that conversation.
General Consent Report
Specific point of interest: This item was a contract
approval of up to $50,000 to provide implementation support for the
opening and operation of the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area Community
School. This is a school that tried to negotiate being an in-district
charter school, however, these agreements were never reached and thus
the organization submitted an independent charter application and was
approved unanimously the current OUSD Board. The funds for this contract
will come from OUSD, which Director Kakishiba called a "strategic
investment" to support the success for what all Board members recognized
as a disadvantaged population of students. The Board and the District
have concentrated their efforts to support African American males
through the creation of The Department of African American Male
Achievement and an emphasis on ensuring the success of this population
in the district's strategic plan, Thriving Students. This item was
approved through the supporting votes from Directors Gallo, Spearman,
Kakishiba, and Hinton Hodge.
Next Board Meeting: Wednesday, March 28th - Regular Meeting
The Bay Area Urban Education Debate League presents a roundtable discussion on improving outcomes for students in Oakland. Education has become the civil rights issue of our time. Policymakers, advocates, educators and members of our community are grappling with ways to reform our public school systems and improve academic outcomes for low-income youth of color. In Oakland, a number of promising practices are being implemented to address this challenge, from linked learning to communities in schools to black male achievement initiatives.