GO Board Watch: December 12, 2018

Three big things on the agenda for this week’s Oakland School Board are:

  1. School Board election results- Congratulations to Gary Yee!
  2. OUSD’s latest financial numbers- The first interim update presentation
  3. Amendments to board by-laws- Proposed changes to public comments at Board Meetings

For more than just three big things, Click here for the full agenda

1st BIG THING: Congratulations Gary Yee and Thank You Nina Senn (item # 18-2501)

Wednesday’s meeting will be Director Nina Senn’s last as the District 4 School Board representative. After four years of service on the board, the GO network and community would like to thank Nina Senn for all of her hard work.

Gary Yee has been called to service again by his community and earned a decisive victory with 58.8% of the vote to represent District 4. GO’s network endorsed Gary for his platform of fiscal vitality and his commitment to ALL Oakland students. Gary believes, “Oakland has an opportunity to find a third path of focused district-charter collaboration to revitalize neighborhoods and address high-priority equity issues.”  

GO also congratulates Board President Aimee Eng and Director Shanthi Gonzales on their re-election to serve Districts 2 and 6 respectively.

2nd BIG THING: OUSD’s latest financial numbers- The first interim update presentation (item # 18-2507)

The First Interim Financial Report is a financial snapshot as of October 31st. Here are the headlines:

Revenues and Expenses: Since the last report in mid-October, the district is expecting to receive $3.4M less in unrestricted revenues, largely due to lower-than-expected enrollment. They also plan to spend $2.3M less than anticipated, driven by decreases in the “contracts and services” category. Combined, this means that the District’s general fund balance has decreased by $1.1M.

Reserve: Based on this information, the District is now projecting that they will have a reserve for economic uncertainty(an emergency fund)of 2.25%, down from 2.35% in mid-October. This is above the state-mandated 2%, but below the Oakland Unified board policy calling for a 3% reserve.

Looking Ahead: The district is filing their report with the Alameda County Office of Education as “positive”, meaning that they expect to be able to meet their fiscal obligations for the next two years based on current plans and projections.

GO’s Perspective
OUSD will need to make significant budget cuts to avoid bankruptcy. Check out this quick explainer video I made: OUSD Current Financial Reality and Next Steps for a breakdown.  

3rd BIG THING: Proposed changes to public participation in Board Meetings- Exploring changes to public comments (item # 18-1964)

There will be a second read of proposed amendments to the current board by-laws.

This agenda item includes a memo from Directors London and Senn that proposes modifications to board meetings to, “streamline board meetings, guarantee time at each meeting for leaders of the Oakland Unified bargaining units to address the board, and provide opportunities for more voices to be heard during board meetings.”

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