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Oakland (Calif.) board votes to close seven schools over next two years

Feb. 22, 2022
Two schools will close this year and five will close next year.

The Oakland (Calif.) school board has voted to close seven schools.

Two schools will close this year and five will close in 2023, reports The Oaklandside

The vote, followed by two weeks of protests, marches, a hunger strike, and other demonstrations against school closures, was abruptly announced at the end of January. 

Under the plan, Parker K-8 and Community Day, an alternative education school for expelled students, will close at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Korematsu, Horace Mann, Brookfield, Carl B. Munck, and Grass Valley will close next year. 

Prescott, which had been targeted for closing, will remain open. 

School officials said closing the schools will save the district money. However, opponents noted that the closures will disproportionately affect minority students.

The initial consolidation plan was revealed two weeks ago.

That proposal called for closing six schools this year and two next year. The plan also called for merging Westlake Middle School and West Oakland Middle School; Manzanita Community School and Fruitvale Elementary; and Dewey Academy and Ralph Bunche Academy.

Other facility changes: La Escuelita and Hillcrest K-8, both of which have been K-8 campuses, will become elementary schools next year.

The initial school consolidation plan was estimated to save the district $4 million to $15 million. District leaders did not present updated figures for how much the revised plan would save. 

For years, district leaders have said that Oakland had too many schools

The schools on the closing list were chosen because of low enrollments and fewer children in the neighborhoods around the schools. 

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