OPINION: Support Alysse Caste for County Superintendent of Schools
By Don Macleay
I voted for Alysse Castro to replace L.K. Monroe for Alameda County Superintendent of Schools
Alameda County Superintendent of Schools is one of those down-ballot elected positions that most of us do not know about, who holds the job now, or even what roll the county plays in our public education.
Most of us do not even know that the position exists.
So why do I care? Because L.K. Monroe supported the process that closed some Oakland public K-12 schools this year, and Alysse Castro knows how and why the claimed budget savings don’t really deliver as promised.
To make a long story short, when one closes a school, we still need to serve the students, employ the teachers, protect the facilities, all without the advantages of the school that we already had up and running in the neighborhood where it is needed.
All that creates new costs. In the end little, if any, money is saved by closing a school.
The reasons given by Monroe to use State of California authority at the county level and demand these school closures for the school district to “to remain a going concern” have more to do with ideology than finances. There is a view that schools should be run like business. That view has held a lot of sway for a long time without any of the market miracle results we were promised.
As to competence, background, and experience, the two candidates are highly qualified and more similar to each other than they would like to say. Incumbent Monroe has experience, and candidate Castro also has a long background in school finance and administration worthy of respect.
When it came to closing Oakland schools despite the opposition of the Oakland education community and despite our balanced school district budget, the difference came mostly down to a judgment call.
Ms. Monroe made the wrong call, and Ms. Castro has said she will change policy.
So, Alysse Castro has my vote.
Don Macleay is an Oakland parent and past District 1 school board candidate in 2016, The views expressed are personal and not official views of any organization.
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