O’Connell Gives Authority for OUSD To Hire Local Superintendent

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday December 04, 2007

State School Superintendent Jack O’Connell came to Oakland on Friday to formally announce that he is turning over two more areas of operation to the Oakland Unified School District.  

The two areas are personnel and facilities management. O’Connell also announced that once a Memorandum of Understanding is signed between his office and local district officials concerning the power transfer, the OUSD board can begin the selection and hiring of a new school superintendent. 

Under the arrangement, the state will continue to hold complete control over the two remaining operational areas—finances and pupil achievement—and will hold a veto power over any actions of the local board or superintendent. OUSD was given back local control over a fifth operational area—community relations and governance—earlier this year. 

O’Connell’s announcement, at Crocker Highlands School in the Oakland hills, came just two days after the release of a report by the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team recommending the release of state power over the two operational areas. 

OUSD has been under state control since 2003 when the discovery of a massive budget shortfall forced the district to take out a state loan.