The Oakland Unified College District board voted to near seven public colleges over the following two years in a call broadly protested through the neighborhood.
Following hours of dialogue and outraged public feedback within the college board assembly Tuesday night time, board individuals determined in a slim vote — with 3 towards, 4 in choose and two abstaining — to near two colleges this 12 months and 5 extra subsequent 12 months, and to merge two different colleges.
Oakland’s college district serves just about 35,000 scholars, maximum of whom are Black and Latinx.
The verdict got here after days of protests through neighborhood individuals. No less than two academics and several other scholars went on starvation moves to protest the deliberate closures, and one instructor was once hospitalized in consequence.
Board individuals who voted for the closures pointed to declining enrollment and price range deficits, pronouncing the district didn’t have the monetary way to stay the universities open.
“Whilst you shut my college, I think such as you shut my area,” mentioned one scholar all the way through the general public feedback at Tuesday night time’s assembly, in line with Oaklandside reporter Ashley McBride.
A scholar member of the varsity board, Natalie Gallegos Chavez (who voted towards the closures however whose vote doesn’t depend as a scholar) protested that the opposite board individuals had been “no longer taking us under consideration.”
“As a substitute of making an investment time to near down colleges that serve majority Black and brown scholars, make investments your time to construct neighborhood and to empower scholars,” mentioned the opposite scholar board member, Samantha Friend. “It is a college district and no longer a industry. Don’t deal with our younger other folks as though they’re not anything to you.”
The neighborhood outcry was once a hit in restricting the closures moderately, saving a minimum of one college from deliberate closure this 12 months.
After the closures had been introduced, Quinta Brunson, writer of the hit display “Abbott Fundamental,” mentioned in a tweet: “We wish to pay academics extra and NOT completely shut public colleges to make room for gentrifiers.”
Over the last 15 years, 16 majority Black and Latinx colleges had been closed within the district, reported KPIX-TV, an area CBS associate.