Harris for East Oakland

It has been an honor to serve as the District 7 Trustee for the last three years and as Board President for the last two years. I have been inspired to fight for Oakland students, and I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Thanks to the hard work of the Board of Education and OUSD staff and administration, under my leadership we have been able to accomplish the following:

1) With the support of Oakland voters, we passed Measure N, which will generate $120 million over the next ten years to be invested in college and career readiness programs for all Oakland high school students.

2) We increased teachers' salaries and signed the first collective bargaining agreement in nearly a decade with the Oakland Education Association. We've worked to make equity a reality in all of our schools, making unprecedented investments in Latino Men, Women, Boys and Girls programs, African-American Male and Female Achievement programs. And improvements to Programs for Exceptional Children, Unaccompanied Minors, and Foster Youth.

3) In partnership with the City, we have started to deliver on the Oakland Promise, a bold vision that seeks to ensure every child in Oakland graduates high school with the expectations, resources, and skills to complete college and be successful in the career of his or her choice. This year, as a result of this work, in District 7, we've made $2 million in scholarship funding available to Castlemont high school students to help pay for college- not just to get into college, but to persist and finish.

4) Starting this school year, more of our students are plugged in to computer science and technology education. Last year, seven percent of high school students were enrolled in computer science courses. This year, 40 percent of high school students are enrolled and learning about various technology platforms.

On transparency and accountability:

We are caught up on fiscal audits for the first time in a decade and as a result have obtained a Triple A credit rating, which yields millions of dollars in savings to Oakland taxpayers.

Last year we created a budget transparency tool that give all families- and the public at-large- access to all district financial data. Parents, students, and families can now track every dollar from it's point of origin all the way to the classroom.

Even with these achievements, we are still are fighting an uphill battle. We have been so distracted by the battles and agendas of adults for so long that our children have suffered and our schools have suffered. I'm running again to ask us to wake up and rise up to the challenge that is before us: to save our schools- and to give all we can to provide access to a high quality education to every student in Oakland. What better place to start in rebuilding East Oakland than our schools? So let's go! We have so much to do.

Sincere thanks for your support,

James Harris

District 7 Trustee and OUSD Board President