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OUSD offers paltry response to criticism over school closure, merger decision

Officials with the Oakland Unified School District issued a brief, two-sentence response Saturday to criticism from the teachers’ union and community members about the board’s decision Friday to uphold a decision to close seven schools and merge others.

Despite opposition to the plan from students, community members and educators, the board Friday night rejected a resolution that would have postponed part of the plan, which includes closing Parker K-8 and Community Day schools and changing La Escuelita from a K-8 school to a K-5 school until next year.

The morning after, opponents of the plan expressed their displeasure with the decision, which they said disproportionately affects students of color. Opposition to the plan included a walkout by students at Oakland Technical High School on Feb. 11 and a hunger strike by two educators that began Feb. 1 and ended Friday.

District officials were not immediately available for Saturday morning to respond to the opposition, but a district spokesman released a statement shortly before 1 p.m. that read, in its entirety:

“On Friday night, Feb. 18, the OUSD Board of Education upheld their previous decision from the meeting on Feb. 8. The District is focused on ensuring all impacted students have as smooth and easy a transition as possible.”

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