Will the Oakland School Board Force the State’s Hand?

The Oakland school board is forging ahead with its plan to hire a new permanent superintendent for the district. According to the Trib, the board has whittled down the list of finalists to three, and plans to make a decision by May 22. But the new supe won’t have full authority over Oakland public schools. That’s because State Superintendent Jack O’Connell has refused to relinquish his power over the district’s finances despite recommendations from state auditors that he do so. So the question is: Will the board’s decision to hire a new schools chief force O’Connell to finally do what’s right? Or is the board creating false expectations by hiring someone who will basically have no authority to reshape the district or institute local control?

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