Teachers and school staff in Oakland survived the budget ax for now after the Oakland Unified School District Board on Tuesday night voted down proposed layoffs and school mergers for the 2023-24 school year.
Trustees rejected two proposals, one calling for reduction of staff at school sites and another calling for the merger of 10 campuses, both for the 2023-24 school year.
School board Director Mike Hutchinson, who voted in favor of the budget proposals, argued the cuts are necessary because of declining enrollment. The district has about 2,000 fewer students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, less money is coming in as COVID supplemental funding is expiring.
“I am very disappointed that the board did not approve the budget adjustment package,” Hutchinson said in an email to NBC Bay Area. “This puts OUSD in a difficult situation in terms of reprioritizing our budget for 23-24.”
According to Oaklandside, board member Sam Davis, who voted for teacher-staff layoffs, said at a town hall earlier this week that OUSD is not in a fiscal crisis, but it does need to reduce spending to give the remaining teachers and staff raises.
The board has until March 15 to give notice for any potential layoffs, Oaklandside reported, and its next meeting is March 8.
Source: NBC Bay Area