Welcome to Board Watch for Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The Oakland Unified School District Board of Education heard updates on Measure N, state-level policy advocacy, and the Physical Asset Management Plan.
Check out the full agenda and read more about these topics below.
Measure N Implementation Report
The board heard a report from David Kakishiba, chair of the Measure N commission. Measure N is a parcel tax approved by voters in 2014 that grants Oakland high schools approximately $12 million per year for linked learning initiatives.
According to their report, the commission has made significant progress over the past year, including the approval of planning grants for all OUSD-operated high schools and six charter-operated high schools. They plan to receive and vote on the first set of education improvement plans by May 17th. The commission also conducted an analysis of schools’ 2014-15 and 2015-16 budgets to ensure that Measure N funding would not supplant previously allocated money, and created a work plan for the 2015-16 audit.
In addition to highlighting successes, the commission’s report raises critical issues that could affect further implementation, including questions about the capacity of schools to organize and lead improvement efforts over time, especially given high rates of both teacher and principal turnover.
State Advocacy Update
During the Superintendent’s Report, the board heard an update on the district’s work to track and influence state-level education policy. The presentation, provided by two staff members from School Services of California, presents recommendations of bills that the board should be supporting or watching carefully. Many of the bills recommended for support relate to increasing affordable housing for educators and other school workers, expanding preschool access, and addressing California’s teacher shortage. Additionally, the presentation addresses the current state of the 2016-17 budget and notes two key ballot measures to watch in November: a $9 billion facilities bond measure and the extension of Proposition 30.
Physical Asset Management Plan Update
The board heard an update on the Physical Asset Management Plan, which covers a number of ongoing construction projects, including:
Greenleaf at Whittier Elementary
James Madison Middle/High
Marcus Foster Leadership Campus and Dewey
In addition, the presentation detailed the theory of action behind the direction of the asset management plan, which appears to be moving into closer alignment with school enrollment and the strategic regional analysis. Part of this work will be improving the classroom loading model, which helps the district to better understand where its physical resources are underutilized. Finally, the district is more closely examining where its portable classrooms are located and how they are being used, with the goal of removing some number of portables.
OUSD staff is recommending that the board vote to renew the charter of Achieve Academy.