Oakland School Closures Prompt Exodus of Younger Teachers

Jan. 6, 2013 / By


Oakland Local/New America Media, News Report, Jennifer Inez Ward, Posted: Jan 04, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. – Brian Jimenez is a sixth grade teacher in his first year with the Oakland Unified School District. Three weeks into his job, he says, administrators told him to pack his supplies and move to another school.

“In the beginning I just felt shocked, especially because I was at a middle school with a great staff and administration,” he said. “I had done a lot of preparation for my new school and then all of my work got usurped and now I’m starting fresh.”

Jimenez was among dozens of Oakland teachers impacted by a spate of school closures and consolidations last year intended to save the district up to $2 million. While the decision was wildly unpopular with parents — most of them from low-income communities — for some teachers, it has been a disaster.

Many are still struggling with the changes.

Once he arrived at his second new school, Jimenez said he didn’t have a classroom assigned to him for a couple of weeks. “There was a time where technically I was a teacher but I didn’t have any students,” he said.

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