INGLEWOOD – Legislation is on the desk of CA Gov. Gavin Newsom which would require cash strapped school districts to perform an equity impact analysis before closing schools in cash strapped districts in cities like Inglewood and Oakland under Assembly Bill 1912.
The bill’s author, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, D-Oakland, introduced the measure in response to a decision by Oakland Unified School District in February to close seven schools, merge two and cut grades from two others over the next two years, as previously reported by CBS Bay Area. The school district decided to close and consolidate these schools to access money promised in the 2021-2022 budget, according to Bonta.
“School closures affect more than its students’ education. It changes the landscape of a community,” Bonta wrote in support of the bill. “If the decisions are made without an equity lens, the results can be catastrophic for communities of color and student populations struggling to achieve academic success.”
AB 1912 was introduced Feb. 9 of this year, eight days after the abrupt resignation of then Inglewood Asm. Autumn Burke who ran an entire campaign on “saving Inglewood Unified” after the district was forced to take out an emergency loan in 2012.
The woman who ushered in Burke, Tina McKinnor, would eventually be elected to fulfill the remainder of Burke’s term seat this June.
McKinnor is now on the ballot for the reconfigured 61st Assembly District, which was changed due to redistricting.
McKinnor pledged to address the school closure process during a rally where Inglewood residents demanded IUSD County Administrator Dr. Erika Torres reverse her decision to close the last elementary school in one of the most affluent areas of Inglewood, the coveted Morningside Park area where McKinnor used to live.
“I want them to follow the process,” said McKinnor during the May 8 rally.
Inglewood Unified and McKinnor will hold a joint Town Hall Sept. 15 presumably to “razzle dazzle” voters with the news that Newsom signed the bill into law. Hopfeully.