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GO and Elections Overview
GO Public Schools is committed to helping ensure that Oaklanders are "education voters" and that the elected leaders of our city's public schools put children and families first. School board members have an extraordinary influence on the performance of our schools and the culture of our city.
Our school board, among other duties:
- Hires and oversees the Superintendent
- Sets instructional and school management policies
- Votes on school closures
- Approves or denies charter public schools
- Oversees a $600 million annual budget ($2.4 billion in a four-year term)
GO Public Schools (a 501(c)(4) nonprofit) carries out voter education activities in school board elections and other elections that have an impact on our schools (mayoral, county superintendent, etc). GO also endorses candidates, having first endorsed school board candidates in the November 2012 elections. The endorsement process
generates a great deal of information about candidates and builds a more informed, connected network in our community (click here to learn more about the endorsement process
Once GO has endorsed candidates, its sponsored political action committee, Families and Educators for Public Education, carries out activities to support the specific endorsed candidates. Click here
to view the campaign finance filings of GO's sponsored PAC (name search).
The need for strong leadership remains great.
Oakland public schools have improved substantially over the past decade, but there is still far to go. Every school day, four students drop out of Oakland schools. Reading and math proficiency levels remain low. In a 2014 survey by GO Public Schools Leadership Center
, only 45 percent of respondents felt that Oakland public education was "moving in the right direction."
On November 4, 2014, three Oakland school board
seats will be up for election, along with the corresponding city council seats, the Mayor, the Alameda County Superintendent of Instruction and the State Superintendent.
GO has begun working with a broad and diverse network of families, educators, and others to help elect officials in 2014 who are aligned with our values and are willing to make tough decisions on behalf of our kids. This November it will take all of us working together to elect the strongest possible candidates for Oakland School Board leadership.
Ways to get involved now:
- Become a monthly donor to our PAC to help provide the resources we need to support elections work. Contributors to GO or our sponsored PAC are invited to participate in our candidate endorsement process.
- Sign up to volunteer for the election effort, joining hundreds of amazing local volunteers (click here to view photos on Facebook of our election volunteers).
- To stay informed on school board actions, sign up for our School Board Watch Newsletter through our affiliate GO Leadership Center.
- Elections this year are in Districts 2, 4, and 6. Confirm what school board district you reside in. School Board districts follow the boundaries of City Council districts. To locate your city council district click here.
2014 Listening Campaign
In the months leading up to the 2012 elections we spoke with more than 800 Oaklanders, asking questions like
- "What makes a good school?"
- "What is the biggest issue facing Oakland today?"
- "What makes an effective school board member?"
Our 2014 Listening Campaign is underway and we will release the results this spring or summer.
2014 Field Campaign information
GO will conduct field campaigns for school board elections in the three districts where school board seats are up for election. GO staff and volunteers have begun initial planning. The following pages provide information about each district's efforts.
During the lead-up to the election, GO Public Schools recruited and supported nearly 300 volunteers to knock on more than 11,500 doors and make more than 64,000 calls. Over 300 individuals donated financially to the election effort. These elections were a true picture of democracy in action.
The change in composition in the school board since 2012 has led to significant positive changes. We have new policies that drive more resources to schools and create consistent improvement processes for schools and teachers, and we have more commitments to work with community partners. We are excited to see what 2015 will hold after we build up our board leadership even further.