East Bay
East Bay
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Rally at Lakeview Elementary Sit-In to Save Oakland Schools, 6/16/12: audio & photos

by Dave Id
On the second day of the Lakeview Elementary Sit-In, parents, teachers, students, supporters, and school board member Alice Spearman spoke and rallied to save five Oakland schools that have now been officially declared closed with the current school year having ended. (Full audio below)
At the rally, letters were read from Oakland students, critical of the Oakland Unified School District board, and especially superintendent Tony Smith, for choosing to close the five schools this year.

OUSD budgeting priorities and decisions were questioned. For instance, while Tony Smith and the OUSD board claim the school closures will save the district two million dollars per year, it was revealed in a budgeting notice to the California state Board of Education that eight new overflow portables at Burckhalter Elementary School, which is scheduled to receive many of the displaced students, are expected to cost over one million dollars.

At one of the five schools, which the OUSD at one point declared flat out would not be able to stay open despite the protestations of teachers and parents, the OUSD has apparently found a way to keep it open, by converting the building to an anti-union, for-profit charter school, still funded through public tax dollars.

Alice Spearman, member of the OUSD board, spoke against the closures, primarily because they involve the closure of the school in her neighborhood, Thurgood Marshall Elementary. Regarding one of the demands of the sit-in, Spearman noted that it is not physically possible for the school district to refuse to make payments on the state debt incurred by state administrators during the 2003-2009 California take-over of the district because payments on the debt are simply deducted from funds that the state distributes to Oakland schools. Spearman suggested supporting Assemblymember Sandre Swanson's efforts to legislatively have the state simply forgive the entire $100 million debt, towards which the OUSD must pay six million per year. To date, Swanson's repeated efforts on debt forgiveness have not even made it out of committee in the Assembly.

Occupy Oakland is thanked profusely for providing food and supplies for the Lakeview Sit-In.

Sit-in participants again set up tents and camped overnight at the school. Currently there are plans to hold rallies daily at 2pm and there is a permanent call-out for support from those who believe in a quality public education for all at local neighborhood schools.

A 10am press conference is scheduled for Monday, June 18th, to announce plans for the all-volunteer, free summer school currently being organized for Lakeview Elementary.

For more information:
§Full audio of rally
by Dave Id
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
(audio 1:13:18)

Note that the audio quality is a spotty at points early on when only a bullhorn was used by speakers but markedly improves at about thirteen minutes in when the sound system arrived (as Charles was speaking).
Bob Mandel was forced into retirement when, by 2010, the OUSD eliminated virtually all adult education services in the district, effecting nearly 25,000 people.

Add Your Comments
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$140.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network