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California Attorney General investigating Oakland Unified school closure plan

California’s attorney general issued a strong statement to the Oakland Unified school District Monday, saying that any planned school closures will be monitored by his department to ensure that civil rights laws aren’t violated.

This comes after his department completes an investigation into the district’s now-rescinded plans to close several Oakland schools two years ago saying it would’ve largely impacted Black students.

“Today I kinda smiled that you know, victory, sometimes you have to wait for them, but they’re really sweet when they do come,” said OUSD parent Pecolia Manigo. 

She is more than satisfied with the announcement by Attorney General Rob Bonta.

In a letter released by his office regarding an investigation into the district’s now-rescinded plans to close schools back in 2022, Bonta said it would’ve disproportionately impacted Black and low-income elementary students.

The letter also advises OUSD that any future closures should not violate state civil rights laws that protect closures from having adverse impacts on communities of color.

Manigo helped file the initial complaint to launch the investigation into the school closures, sparking months of demonstrations from OUSD parents like herself.

“The families that participated smile a little bit tonight that they took that time, they made those sacrifices and that the attorney general is standing with them,” said Manigo. 

Rochelle Jenkins was one of the parents who took part in a months-long occupation of Parker Elementary since it was one of the schools on the closure list.

She’s confident the attorney general’s stance on future closures will protect underserved communities.

“This right here is a victory and a win for OUSD and the parents, and the students, and just everybody that’s been a part of this thing,” she said.

Bonta said his department will monitor the district on future closures and strongly recommends public input on any of those decisions.

NBC Bay Area reached out to OUSD for a comment but have yet to hear back.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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