OUSD Postpones Trustee Meeting Over Sale of Properties

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday May 30, 2006

The state-appointed administrator of the Oakland Unified School District has postponed a meeting with OUSD Advisory Trustees, leaving trustees in the dark as to the future of nearly 10 acres of valuable midtown district properties, including the district administration headquarters. 

School Board President David Kakashiba said that he was contacted by State Administrator Randolph Ward’s office saying that the meeting had been canceled, with no reason given and no new date set. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell is currently considering bids from developers for either the sale or long-term lease of the properties. 

The sites include several school sites, among them La Escuelita Elementary, Dewey High School, Met West High School, and the Yuk Yau Child Development Center. A request for proposals was issued for the sale or lease early last year. 

The state superintendent has been operating the Oakland Unified School District through Ward following a state takeover of the district in 2003. The school board has no power to set policy or approve or deny the proposed sale or lease of the properties. 

The Daily Planet reported earlier this month that the state superintendent’s office had narrowed the bidding to one developer, but an official in O’Connell’s office said last week that this was incorrect, and the superintendent was still considering bids from three developers. 

The next meeting of the OUSD Board of Directors is scheduled for Wednesday.