Cutting Off Little Noses to Spite Charter Faces in Oakland

It’s odd to hear someone who says they support parents and teachers to argue for less school funding in Oakland.  But that is the contorted place we find ourselves, with the so called “Oakland Parents United,” opposing the latest parcel tax that would fund Oakland middle schools.

Oakland’s schools are underfunded.

And I haven’t been to Hillcrest lately, but I have been to Frick, Fremont, and Roosevelt, and I think they could all use the extra $500 per child for arts, music and languages.   Educators deserve the 2% raise that comes with the measure.  And the District needs this to keep quality teachers.

So outside of folks who don’t want to pay the tax for selfish reasons (there is a low income exemption), why would anyone oppose this?

Because, all Oakland public school students are included, including the dreaded (shudder) charter school students.  You know, that group of kids that are predominantly in the Flatlands, 30% of whom are English learners, 73% low income, roughly the same as the district’s students, though identified special education number are 3-4% lower.

So I don’t know who these folks are claiming to speak for.  I guarantee you they aren’t speaking for the average parent, who knows that our students—at least most of them—really need more resources.

And it really says something about our politics, that folks claiming to speak for parents, would advocate something that parents perceive to be wrong (check the vote), and they would deny a benefit to 75% of Oakland’s students (in traditional district schools) who they say they support, in order to deny it to another quarter of students (in public charter schools).

That’s some deep haterism.

Seriously, I want them to go out to Flatlands schools and explain to families this position—I guarantee they won’t get nowhere—in fact I guarantee they won’t even make the argument in a non-staged environment.

Don’t give in to the dark side

I didn’t pay close attention to the reboots of Star Wars, but if you did, you might remember Annakin’s turn to the dark side.  The hate that consumed him until he struggled boiling in lava, as that other Jedi guy held the high ground and chopped him up.

Believe me, if you are arguing against more money for Oakland kids and don’t have any viable alternative—you ain’t the one on the high ground here.

And if you don’t know, ask some Flatland parents or teachers.

Don’t become Darth Vader.

Yes on G1.

What do you think?

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