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Oakland has been a playground for the privatization industry for many years. The state took control of Oakland in 2003 because of a budget deficit and removed its school board. Billionaire Eli Broad selected its new superintendent (and his successors), and reformers took charge, opening charter schools and promising revolutionary improvement. Their goal was to turn the public schools into a “free market.” Five years after the takeover, Oakland had 32 charter schools and 111 regular public schools. Needless to add, there was no dramatic improvement in Oakland. Today, Oakland has the highest proportion of students in charter schools of any city in California.
Tom Ultican wrote here about the saturation of Oakland by billionaire privatizers, who just can’t leave the district alone and are determined to pour in more resources until there are no public schools left.
They are: Sam Davis (District 1), VanCedric Williams (District 3), Mike Hutchinson (District 5) and Victor Valerio (District 7).
Tom Ultican posed this question:
Community based schools run under the authority of an elected school board have served as the foundation for American democracy for two centuries. Feckless billionaires operating from hubris or theological commitment or a desire to avoid taxes or a pursuit of more wealth are sundering those foundations.
Will activists of good will be able to throw off the yoke of billionaire financed tyranny and defend their public schools in Oakland?
If you live in Oakland, please support these candidates.