Bookmark and Share

Elections Information

GO is committed to helping to ensure that Oaklanders are "education voters." On November 4th, 2014, three Oakland school board seats will be up for election, along with the corresponding city council seats, the Mayor, the State Superintendent of Instruction, County Superintendent of Education and County Board of Education seats, providing opportunities for voters to elect officials who are aligned with the needs of Oakland students and who are willing to make tough decisions on behalf of our kids.

What do election results mean for Oakland Public Schools?

From local government to Capitol Hill, elected leaders influence conditions and outcomes for Oakland's students in terms of funding and a range of other policies. GO Public Schools Leadership Center, in partnership with our c4 affiliate organization GO Public Schools, works to provide clear, useful information about elections for local voters.  

Democratic community engagement matters to schools and engagement in the schools matters to communities.

So say Michael A. Resnick and Anne L. Bryant in an essay called "School Boards and the Power of the Public." The authors emphasize how school boards can engage the public, how they serve as an example of democracy in action, and why it's the schools' responsibility to teach students about democracy in ways that are tangible and meaningful.

Key points of the essay include:

  • Schools are the most significant public institution. They provide a social and learning environment where kids spend six hours per day 180 days per year.
  • Schools serve community life and participatory democracy. Schools and communities working together can create the schools they want, to match the life envisioned for their children.
  • School boards are a key mechanism between education and democracy. School boards invite community members to become more involved in the decision-making process.
  • School boards provide a venue for community members to have a say in what and how their children are taught.
  • If citizen involvement weakens, so too will the commitment to public institutions, including public schools. Public schools are vehicles for fostering public engagement with the common good.
  • School board elections are an opportunity for the community to focus on schools and to choose those people best qualified to represent them.
  • Effective school boards govern on a human scale - but GO works to make that more accessible.
  • Public schools are only as good as the public that supports them. Civic intelligence and a commitment to civic life are crucial to how they function. Teaching students to be civic minded, democratic citizens helps them to become productive members of their communities and value the larger public interest.

Looking Forward: November 2014 Elections

Local elected school board leaders can improve the quality of our public schools. In November 2014, Oakland will elect significant city leadership positions:
  • Mayor
  • City Council Districts 2, 4, 6.
  • School Board Directors Districts 2, 4, 6.
School Board districts follow the boundaries of City Council districts. To locate your city council district click here

(Note: District boundaries are being revised in 2013 following the 2010 census. This does not affect neighborhood school attendance boundaries in any way.)

On the state level, the Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson will be up for reelection and an opponent has declared his candidacy.

As the election nears, we will provide more information in this space and on our partner c4 site of GO Public Schools.

Run for Oakland School Board 2014!

Oakland's School Board elections are too often uncontested races.  We need more dedicated Oaklanders to step up for Oakland students! 

Why run for school board?
  • Are you committed to advocating for the best possible public education for students in Oakland? Are you willing to spend time and energy to improve public education in Oakland? The school board needs more individuals like you!
  • Our school board is democracy in action. The school board impacts how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent for Oakland's 45,000 public school students.
  • Directors make critical decisions about teaching, school facilities, parents, teachers, college and career readiness, budgeting, health, safety and more. 

What is the job description?
  • The Board's primary responsibility is to ensure that every Oakland public school student is well educated and demonstrates high academic achievement 
  • The Board meets publicly twice a month in the evening and Directors also sit on Board committees, each of which meets about twice a month. 
  • Board members are expected to engage with the schools, parents and students in their districts.
  • The current compensation for Directors is $787.50 per month. 
  • OUSD pays for board members may participate in the health and welfare benefits program provided for district employees. 
  • Elected candidates will take office January 2015.

Who can run?
To run for school board, you must be a citizen of the United States, eligible to vote, a resident of Oakland for at least 30 days, and a resident of the district from which you are a candidate for at least 30 days immediately preceding the nomination. A district employee elected to the Board must resign or be terminated before being sworn into office.

Important upcoming dates:
  • June 14 (deadline to register to vote in district)
  • August 8 (filing deadline)

More resources and information on running for school board

Your Vote Matters
Please make sure you are registered to vote, you may also sign up for vote-by-mail.

For more information please contact Jessica Stewart, Managing Director.

Recent election resources from GO Public Schools:
Education Voter Guide
Jumoke Hinton Hodge: Why I'm running for School Board (video)
Rosie Torres: Why I'm running for School Board (video)
James Harris: Why I'm running for School Board (video)


What You Can Do Right Now

Volunteer for this Issue Group and represent your school community in the GO network. Take Action »

Posts On Elections Information

More from News Blog »
Donate Now

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, April 25, 2016, 5:30 PM

    OUSD Board engagement session

    The Oakland Unified School District board of education will host a community engagement meeting on Special Education, from 5:30-8 pm on Monday, April 25 at Elmhurst Community Prep/Alliance Middle Schools, 1800 98th Ave. in Oakland. This is your opportunity to listen,...