OUSD School Year Begins With Shortage of Teachers and Textbooks

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The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is scrambling to hire teachers and purchase new textbooks to ensure that every classroom has a teacher and books before school starts Monday, Aug. 25.

“Every year, it’s down to the wire to staff schools fully,” says Troy Flint, Communications Director for OUSD.

The district is looking to find teachers in the areas of foreign language, special education, math and science. However according to Flint, very few teachers have the credentials to teach those subjects.

Flint emphasizes that there is extreme competition with many surrounding districts for the services of those teachers. Without full staff, some students will temporarily have substitute teachers, he said.

“It’s an ongoing process for us,” says Flint, who did not provide numbers on how many teachers must still be hired.

Flint also did not give numbers on how many classrooms will not have textbooks.

Because of the adoption of the new Common Core, the district must spend about $12 million to replace all of its textbooks at one time, rather than staggering new purchases as is usually done.

“There going to be a few bumps along the way,” Flint said,

Some administrative staff had to be sent back to classrooms “to free up money for textbooks,” he said.

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