Perata Signs On to OUSD Control Bill

By J. douglas Allen-taylor
Friday May 04, 2007

The Oakland legislator who wrote the bill that authorized the state takeover of the Oakland Unified School District in 2003 has signed on as a co-author of new legislation designed to bring about a quicker return to local control of the Oakland schools. 

A spokesperson for State Senate President Don Perata said that the senator had been neutral on Assemblymember Sandré Swanson’s original AB 45 Oakland Local Control bill, but decided to put his name on the proposed legislation once Swanson had amended it. 

Swanson’s original bill would have immediately returned control of the Oakland schools to the OUSD school board in every area but finances. 

The amendments, crafted while AB45 was being considered by the Assembly Education Committee, calls for return to local control of any area of district school operation once the state-supported Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) recommends that return.  

The bill passed the Assembly Education Committee last month on a party-line 7-3 vote (all Democrats voting yes, all Republicans voting no) and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  

Saying that Perata’s support was “key” to passage of the bill in the Senate, a group of Oakland residents and local school control supporters met with Perata staff members in Sacramento following the Education Committee hearing on the bill to lobby the senator.  

A spokesperson for Swanson said the Oakland assemblymember was “extremely pleased” by Perata’s support. 

“The assemblymember wants this to be a collaborative effort,” Swanson public information officer Amber Maltbie said.