The Amended Reparations for Black Students Resolution PassEd!

Our Post Vote Statement

There is no justice if you pull the knife of structural racism out just halfway and decide to let our community bleed from the harm of school closures that displace students and destroy our communities.

The OUSD Board passed most of the Reparations for Black Students Resolution last night by a majority vote, but lacked the courage to put an end to the racist school closure policy, delaying the full measure of justice to our Black students, but we will NOT be denied.

The amended resolution was passed with a Yes Vote by President Shanthi Gonzales, Vice President Sam Davis, Directors Aimee Eng, and Director Gary Yee. Due to the refusal of the board to continue language that would exempt majority black schools from closure during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Directors Van Cedric Williams and Mike Hutchinson, the original authors of the resolution abstained and voted no respectively. Director Cliff Thompson abstained as well.

Thank you to all of the students, parents, educators and allies who worked so hard to craft the resolution and push to get it passed as is. Although the Board did not pass the original resolution, we will move forward with this amended resolution which has the super majority of our demands within it.

The hard work of ensuring that the Resolution is actually and transparently implemented is still ahead of us. Together, we WILL continue fighting to protect our community schools from closure. Today, we have made history and we should relish this moment. We stand with Black Students! Thank you Oakland!

The Reparations Resolution is Endorsed by

with California State Assemblyman, Rob Bonta
Councilmembers Carroll Fife, Loren Taylor, Nikki Fortunato Bas, Sheng Thao, Rebecca Kaplan and Dan Kalb
and School Board Directors VanCedric Williams and Mike Hutchinson

DECADES of disinvestment in Black communities and closing 16 historically 'Black' schools in the last 15 years, caused generations of harm to Black families.

27,270

Black students
in OUSD in 1996
8500
Black students
in OUSD in 2019
(in-district schools)
after push-out from anti-Black racism

REPARATIONS RESOLUTION

Black students have a right to feel safe,
achieve academically, and thrive in Oakland.

There is not one Black family in OUSD that hasn’t experienced the pain of anti-Black racism in our schools (such as bias, criminalization, low expectations, school closures, and push-out) – AND had to name specific solutions for their children to be protected from harm and supported to thrive. Now is the time to look at the solutions from the Black community and invest in the remaining Black students – so that every child can learn and achieve.

Over the past two decades, OUSD has closed 16 majority Black schools, forcing more than 18,000 Black students out of the district. In partnership with Black leaders calling for a greater investment in the Black community in Oakland and building off the Black Organizing Project’s recent win removing police from schools – we demand that OUSD create a multi-million dollar reparations fund and begin to invest in Black students and families to repair generations of harm.

The Reparations Resolution will ensure Black students get what they need to feel safe, healthy, and supported to succeed! The resolution includes the following demands:

  • Design a community informed plan for a safe and healthy return to school prioritizing Black students and their families as the hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic. Work with other county agencies to bring economic relief to Oakland’s Black and vulnerable families.
  • Commit to closing the Black digital divide that disproportionately limits access to information and resources to Black families. Provide all students with the technology and equipment they need to access information and learning resources during and beyond Covid-19.
  • End the Schools to Prison pipeline and implement the Black Organizing Project’s People’s Plan for police-free schools. End discriminatory discipline practices and disproportionate expulsions and suspensions of Black students.
  • Stop school closures and co-locations of charter schools at in-district schools. Especially at schools with high percentages of Black students. Create and invest in a new cohort of ‘historically Black’ schools (that are currently being targeted for closure).
  • Stop using the new ‘anti-Black’ equity formula that unfairly cuts from schools with high percentages of Black students. Undo the harm by restoring concentration funds, as well as any lost clerical staff or Assistant Principals that were taken away at those schools.

We demand a new aspirational vision and a multi-million dollar reparations fund for the remaining 8,314 Black students in OUSD to thrive.

  • Establish a Black Thriving Fund that brings targeted resources and opportunities (at the scale needed to dismantle anti-Black racism) to secure a just and equitable education for Black students. Use existing and new resources including LCFF and stimulus dollars, fundraising from multiple sources, partnering with the state, city and county, passing Schools and Communities First, etc.
  • Create a real Racial Equity Formula that takes into account all of the historic and current factors impacting Black communities (across designations of Foster Care, Homelessness, Special Education etc..)
  • Adopt a community-defined Black Thriving Index to establish the needs of Black students, and set goals, outcomes and indicators for the district and schools to be held accountable to and measure progress towards Black thriving.
  • Establish a Black Thriving Governance body that represents the voices of Black students, parents, families, communities and has the power to monitor the implementation of targeted plans and resources for Black thriving. Ensure that Black youth and Black family leaders are integrated into all district, city and county committees that monitor the ongoing implementation of these demands.

During the pandemic, Community Schools have become essential to Black families serving as hubs for much needed resources and support. A new deeper investment in the community schools model must center the needs of Black students and families and provide wrap-around services. To ensure that these schools center the needs of Black students and families we demand that OUSD:

  • Invest in Black Family Engagement by increasing opportunities to participate in decision making at the school and district levels.
  • Ensure that Black Students are ready for College, Career and Civic Leadership by providing resources for Black students to successfully obtain career training and complete A-G requirements.
  • Dramatically increase the literacy rates of Black students across all grades by creating a city-wide literacy campaign for Black students starting Summer 2020.
  • Prioritize resources for Black Academic Growth and Achievement by conducting an assessment of how the district uses LCAP funds to address the academic and socio-emotional needs of Black students across various designations.
  • Prioritize resources (facilities bond monies) to ensure that Black students in Alternative Education classes, programs and schools can thrive by funding a hub that supports the youth and their families.
  • Prioritize resources to create anti-racist cultures of belonging and increase the cultural competence of our educators, staff and their school communities to center Black Thriving.
  • Resource and ensure that all Black families have access to pre-K early education including resources and services that support early family engagement.
  • Provide professional advocacy services to Black families who have children with IEPs.
  • Recruit and retain Black teachers and Black school leaders by meaningfully supporting and investing in them.