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City Staff Proposes to Sell Public Land to Build C...

City Staff Proposes to Sell Public Land to Build Charter School for 620 Students in Fruitvale District

Next week’s Community and Economic Development (CED) committee meeting is scheduled to consider a City of Oakland staff proposal to sell a 9,000-square-foot parcel of city-owned land to a developer to build a charter school in the Fruitvale District.

The proposal is to sell the developer, Pacific West Communities, the property to construct an Aspire Eres Charter School for $450,000, “serving up to 620 kindergarten through eighth-grade students…and a staff of up to 51 employees.”

The parcel, which has no street address, is located on the northwest side of Derby Avenue between East 15th Street and International Boulevard. The school would be built on the city-owned property and two adjacent pieces of land already controlled by the developer.

The proposed structure would include a three-story campus building with a total floor area of 48,559 square feet.

According to its webpage, the Aspire Eres Charter School, located at 1936 Courtland Ave., currently serves 217 students. The parent organization, Aspire Public Schools, operates 11 schools in the Bay Area, including 7 in Oakland; 14 in the Central Valley, 11 in Los Angeles: and 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“This school is going to be placed two blocks away from our Cesar Chavez campus,” said school activist Mike Hutchinson, speaking at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“Are you going to stand up for our community and defend our public-school system, or are you going to sell the property to this company, which will guarantee the destruction of one of our signature school sites?

There is no public good – it actually creates a public harm (here),” he said.

The issue will be discussed at the Community and Economic Development (CED) committee meeting, Tuesday, May 8, 1:30 p.m. at Oakland City Hal

 


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  1. Mike Hutchinson

    8 May

    The city council is considering selling a parcel of land for $450,000 to an out of state developer so a new 625 student charter school can be built.

    The developer already owns 2 parcels of land and “needs” the adjoining city owned parcel in order to build a 3 story charter school for 625 k-8 students. The parcel is located on Derby Ave at E15th, which is about two blocks from Fruitvale and International and two blocks from the Caesar Chavez campus which contains 2 public schools (Think College Now and International Community School).

    Charter schools are not public schools, in fact charter schools are competitors of public schools. For every student that goes to a charter school OUSD (the public schools) loses money. A 625 student charter school would cause a $7 million a year loss to OUSD. The impact would be must acute on the Caesar Chavez campus, one of our signature campuses, where the loss of enrollment could have dire consequences.

    The proposed sale will also greatly disrupt the neighborhood for residents, local businesses, and their patrons. With 700 people coming and going from a school built on a dead end street 1 block from International and 2 blocks from Fruitvale it will greatly exasperate the area’s problems with traffic and lack of parking.

    The community is not asking for a new school and both OUSD and an Alameda Grand Jury Reports state that Oakland has too many schools. Plus a charter school is not even accessible to the community. Selling this public property not only won’t produce public good, it will actually create public harm to local residents, small businesses, and public schools.

    Thankfully this land sale and project can still be stopped. Tuesday (today) at 1:30pm the city council’s Community and Economic Development Committee will discuss this sale. If they approve it it will come before the full city council for a final vote, probably in the next month. We must demand that the city council vote no on this sale of what they’re calling the Derby Parcel.

    If you support public education then you should be against this sale.

    If you believe that public land should be used for public good then you should be against this sale.

    If you believe public land should be used to alleviate the housing crisis then you should be against this sale.

    If you don’t believe that out of state developers should be able to dictate how our communities look then you should be against this sale.

    If you believe that any decisions about public land sale and development should come only after it’s informed by a robust and authentic community engagement process then you should be against this sale.

    #FailureByDesign
    #CharterSchoolsAreNotPublicSchools
    #PublicLandForPublicGood
    #WeChoose
    #RecallEmAll

  2. Harriett Feltman

    8 May

    Public money should go to PUBLIC SCHOOLS, not educational businesses over which we have no control. Using our resources to equitably improve the public school system we currently have is preferable to encouraging and supporting the businesses which claim to better educate our children. In reviewing the reports on this school, it seems that they have not done a great job in this area as the testing scores of their students have fallen below the state average on a regular basis. On another note, it is hard to believe that this property would sell for such a low price; $450,000 for any property in Oakland is a give-a-way to the buyer. This business is making out like the bandit they might well be.

  3. Fredora Holm Darmstadt

    8 May

    I pay my tax money to go to Public Schools. I own property in Oakland and am a voter! Public money is for Public Schools, NOT personal interest charter schools!!!

  4. Sarah Willner

    9 May

    And there is also a thriving, amazing middle school a few blocks up Fruitvale from the proposed site: Urban Promise Academy. This school will poach students from both UPA and from Cesar Chavez schools, leaving the public school sinking ship with dwindling resources to serve the most underserved students (that the charter schools won’t take).

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