OUSD Parents raised many important concerns with the OUSD Administration over the past year, hoping that the Superintendent would use his new position and new state money to make the attraction and retention of quality teachers a priority, thereby creating stronger, more stable schools for our children. We looked to members of the school board to ensure that our teachers receive a contract which makes that happen.
While the new contract for our teachers is a positive step in the right direction, it is clear that most of the issues parents have raised during this contract campaign remain unaddressed including, among other things:
- Our teachers will still be underpaid compared to other school districts in the area, even under the new contract.
- OUSD’s central office will still be full of “Chiefs” with newly created positions, some of whom followed the Superintendent here from Denver and all of whom are making excessive salaries, including: Allen Smith, the Chief of Schools ($175,000 salary + $15,000 to move from Denver); Yana Smith, Chief of Organizational Effectiveness & Culture ($155,000 + $12,500 to move from Denver); Devin Dillon, Chief Academic Officer ($175,000 + $11,000 to move from Los Angeles); and Bernard McCune, Deputy Chief of the Office of Post-Secondary Readiness ($157,000 + $17,000 to move from Denver).
- The District will still be paying $30,000 per month ($360,000 per year) to Lance Jackson to oversee the District’s bond-funded construction programs, and the school board has not been allowed to vote on this excessive payment.
- The District will still be proposing to spend $100 million+ on building an administrative complex which would present a sleek and stark contrast to the crumbling schools the Administration is supposed to serve.
- The District will still be regularly out of compliance with federal special education requirements, refusing to agree to hard caps to protect some of our most vulnerable students because they would be too expensive. The District is now facing a class-action lawsuit over system-wide violation of the rights of special education students.
- The District will still be opening up school communities in need of intensive support to a design process that encourages outside organizations and organizations hoping to make a profit off of our children to participate.
- The School Board will still be largely inaccessible to parents, who often must wait hours to speak during public comment periods, often waiting with young, hungry children past their bedtimes.
Oakland parents, taxpayers and voters are tired of seeing our District’s leadership throw precious resources toward excessive executive pay (and now a sleek new administrative building), while not prioritizing classroom instruction. We are tired of our Superintendent bypassing the elected school board on crucial decisions. We are tired of having an elected board that is not accessible to its electorate.
Sign this petition by OUSD Parents United to let the School Board know that Oakland parents will not go away. This time, we are here to stay. We will stay engaged, we will hold them accountable, we will continue to fight for the schools our students deserve!