The district of Oakland has far too many schools which include both public and charter schools in the neighborhood.
Accordingly, many people have asked the question if Oakland has too many schools.
There are some issues of enrollment but the high number of schools developed is not just based on that alone.
Rather than looking at it as a simplified question, one should create demographics to assess the factors that culminate in categorizing schools according to sizes, the rate of tradeoffs to ensure the quality of education and the financial backup endowed upon the school.
Sadly enough, the OUSD has a very bad rating in terms of having just way too many schools.
When compared against the San Fransisco Unified School, Oakland has at least 93 schools in the district. However, the San Fransisco unified district has a total of 100 district schools and 20 charter schools. What does this leave the former with?
While there are so many variables to compare and contrast schools in a district, the first question that should be imposed is
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Why do you need to compare schools in the first place?
Factors like demographic, age, ELL, population trends, race and even economic trends come into play to determine the gaps in forming an education system in a particular district.
Ideally, the correct data to determine a standard comparison should be based on school districts pitted against each other barring any form of higher education or higher secondary education.
The enrollment rates have increased in the past decade for both OUSD and the San Fransisco Unified School district.
The only thing that has comprehensively decreased is the number of district schools as charter schools are more trending than others.
Why is there a decline in public schools in the OUSD? The following pointers might be possible reasons for the same:
It might be a major expense to operate small schools in the Oakland districts.
Larger schools are easy to deal with and can accommodate more students at one go, reducing the overall costs.
Most schools in Oakland remain small since they might have been co-located with a charter school leaving no scope for them to expand. In that, a number of small schools might have opened up to align with the charters causing this immense number to generate today.
While larger schools are easy to operate, opening small schools simultaneously can be a respite on finances. The labor contracts created for each small school in a district are rather flexible.
However, there is a major issue in these districts as they hire part-time teachers and expect them to finish heaps of coursework for meager pay. It is also a fact that these teachers do not stay long term in the charter schools, and the constant churn of teachers can also drain resources in addition to time. It is a bad influence on the student’s point of view as well.
This kind of education model is absolutely not ideal. A small district school has more challenges than a small charter school, as is the case in the OUSD. Past records do not show a great record for the OUSD to fasten its seatbelts and get ahead with enhancing the overall system.
However, it is encouraged for these schools in the Oakland district to announce their grand plans by opening more charters than small district schools.
Budget Cuts Are Not Necessary For Kids
The OUSD has mentioned this time and again how cuts to school and kids are necessary to improve the quality of education and its administration, however, it is safe to say that it is not as necessary a step as hailed. The OUSD has already overspent on contracts and the administration in general.
In addition to this, the avoidance of the state takeover is only $1.4 million however they have gone ahead to plan to spend at least $15 million! As it is, they do not give any importance to the Oakland school students and the staff that support them.