Thursday, February 26, 2009

The State to Steal from Oakland Schools

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Jack O'Connell, the state superintendent of public instruction and the man who ultimately oversees Oakland schools, plans to raid the district's financially strapped accounts and give the money to charter schools. O'Connell was disappointed that Measure N, a parcel tax that would have helped charter schools, failed in the November election. So he plans to just take $484,000 from OUSD, which is more than $80 million in debt, and give it to charter schools. And it doesn't seem like anyone can stop him.

O'Connell spokeswoman Hilary McLean told the Trib it's an "equity issue," noting that charter schools don't receieve money from Oakland parcel taxes. She's right; they don't. But that's because Oakland voters didn't approve funds for charter schools when they ok'd the parcel taxes in the first place. If O'Connell wants parcel taxes to fund charter schools, then he should sponsor a new measure. Measure N would have accomplished what he wanted, but it came up short. O'Connell, a big charter school backer, who has received loads of campaign cash from charter school supporters, needs to come to grips with that fact.

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