To the Oakland Unified School District/Oakland School Board:
My name is Brandon Dawkins, and I am an Oakland resident, community leader and taxpayer, as well as a father to three young scholars attending Vincent Academy in West Oakland.
When my wife and I moved to West Oakland almost 7 years ago, we were looking a good school for my daughter to attend that’s close to our home.
For the first three years of residence in Oakland, we were driving our daughter to school in San Francisco because we couldn’t find any schools in our area that we thought were safe and suitable for our child.
As the commute with our daughter each day to San Francisco became tiring and affected her academically, we decided to look for a school in the city where we chose to grow our family. We chose Vincent Academy because it’s really close to where we live, and Vincent Academy is a small, close knit community with small classes dedicated to teaching the whole child, and has opportunities for the parents to be involved in the school community.
I am extremely proud of the work the Vincent Academy staff has done with the children in our community thus far. Kids are coming to school, and they’re excited about learning and are advancing academically, as well as being socially engaged.
With all of the great stuff happening at Vincent Academy, we all have something to be proud about. However, I am also appalled and disappointed as a resident and taxpayer of Oakland. I do not understand why Oakland charter schools do not receive Measure G funding, even though they are a part of the Oakland Unified School District and make up 30% of the district’s schools. That’s 38 charter schools operating within the City of Oakland.
I voted for this measure to support Oakland’s education funding and I am disappointed that Oakland’s charter schools are not receiving any of the Measure G funding.
The parents at Vincent Academy do a lot of fundraising to provide resources for our children, to ensure that the children in West Oakland not only have Vincent Academy as another option to go to school in the community where they reside in, but also so the students have all of the support they need to succeed academically and socially. Parents fundraising efforts should be minimal if the residents of Oakland are contributing to Measure G.
I ask that you reconsider distributing the Measure G funds to charter schools since they are public schools in the City of Oakland.
Thank you for reading.