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OP-ED: Parent Responds to OUSD Supt. Antwan Wilson



By Shaless Peoples

Thank you Supt. Antwan Wilson for your invitation to hear feedback on this matter. I’d like to respond to two key points you brought up in your March 31 Op-Ed published on the Post News Group website, “America Needs Oakland to Succeed”.

Teacher Salaries:

To the understanding of many OUSD parents, community members, and stakeholders, there are discrepancies in your statement because:

Teachers have had just a 3.25 percent raise over the past 10 years, which should be considered;

1.5 percent of this raise is dependent on some teachers paying more for their health care, presumably resulting in less money to the teachers net and more money to the district in terms of cost savings;

1.5 percent of this raise is dependent on longer working hours;

Only 3 percent for the first year is guaranteed, the remaining 7.5% is contingent on revenue;

Until the District closes the gap between current salaries in our district and current salaries in surrounding districts, we will continue to lose excellent teachers. OUSD is 7.6 percent to 15 percent below average (per GO Public Schools). So our district must make up that difference AND keep up with ongoing raises offered by neighboring districts.

Unless the district can prove otherwise, I’m sure you can see how while 13.5 percent over 18 months sounds marvelous and wonderful, it really doesn’t amount to any viable progress towards your efforts of improving OUSD “starting with our people.”

California/OUSD Low Funding:

Yes, funding should be increased for the education sector.

That said, let’s be clear here: OUSD has received an additional $42 million in unrestricted funds in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and the governor’s proposed budget will provide $24 million more in 2015-2016. That is an increase of $66 million in funding for OUSD.

Salary of Superintendent of Schools: $280,000/per year.

Salary of Chief of Schools (a brand new position/title that you created): $175,000/per year. Allan Smith, a colleague of yours from Denver Public Schools, currently holds this position.

Salary of Chief of Organizational Effectiveness and Culture (a brand new position/title you created): $155,000/per year. Yana Smith, the spouse of Allan Smith currently holds this position.

Salary of (Interim) Head of Facilities & Management: $360,000/per year.

Unless the district can prove otherwise, I’m sure you can see what clearly is a profound discrepancy, and how pontificating “Low Coffers!” is just simply inadequate at best, and a major insult to the intelligence of everyone involved in this process at worst.

Recently, a parent, who also happened to be a teacher, suggested that we as community need to push our state for more funding.

I agree with this opinion.

I also believe that the first step to pushing the state, is to demonstrate that we are capable of being fiscally responsible with what we have. I liken this point to allowance for my child: If I observe that my son is losing his money, not saving some of it, and spending frivolously, do you think I am going to respond to his request for an increase in his allowance with yes?

The same notion applies to the relationship between OUSD and state leadership.

The process of ensuring that our actions are indeed fiscally sound involves having productive and transparent dialogue with district leadership so that we are all confident that any action being taken are ethical, legal, and just.

As a parent of an OUSD student, and a product of a family of educators, I for one, Superintendent Wilson, fully intend on giving you feedback and pushing back on a district level until I am confident that all of the decisions and actions coming out of the district truly do place our people first.

Shaless Peoples is a resident and parent in Oakland, where she volunteers at her son’s school.

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How to Use Credit Wisely

(NewsUSA) – As the holiday season approaches, more people are out shopping, searching crowded stores and online promotions for the best discounts, and using their credit cards to pay for it all. But beware the financial dangers of credit use — how you pay for these deals could safeguard your budget or lead to debt. […]
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A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help you guard against costly credit mistakes, paving the way for a financially sound festive season and beyond. Learn more about how to use credit in a way that works for you with the insights below.

Choose Your Credit Card Wisely

Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or purchasing necessities like groceries, the credit card you use can make a big difference. There are several factors to consider:

  • Interest Rates. Rates generally run from 21-33%. The standard bank card charges at the low end of the range, and retailer credit cards (those typically with the store’s name on them) charge as much as 33%.
  • Cash Back. Among the best deals are bank cards that offer cash back ranging from 1-4% of your purchase.
  • Rewards Points. Some cards have rewards programs where you earn points that you can redeem for products or services. They may seem attractive but are worthwhile only if you’re actually interested in the rewards offered.
  • Cash Discounts. While retailer credit cards have the highest rates, some offer big cash discounts at the point of purchase. That may be the only time they’re worth using.

Improving Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit score can help you qualify for the lowest available interest rates on auto loans, personal loans and mortgages. If you can, pay the full balance when your credit card bill arrives. But most importantly, never miss a payment. Paying on time not only avoids late fees, but also is a key factor in improving your credit score. The easy way to ensure timely payment is to set up automatic online payments.

A CFP® professional can help you develop other strategies to save money while improving your credit profile, including the following:

Establishing Credit

Lenders offer credit to people with a long and reliable credit history. Most young adults don’t have one. There are various ways to obtain credit, but steer clear of debit cards that claim they can help you build a credit history. When you consider the costs and requirements, they’re usually no bargain. You have better and cheaper options for establishing credit. Here are three of them:

  • Get a secured credit card.
  • If you have a student loan, make sure you’re up-to-date with payments.
  • If you pay rent, ask your landlord to report your on-time payments to the credit bureaus.

The choices we make in managing credit can have a lasting impact on our financial journey. As you navigate the complex credit landscape, remember that CFP® professionals can offer tailored guidance for your unique circumstances. Whether it’s identifying strategic debt payments, exploring balance transfer options or establishing credit responsibly, a CFP® professional can provide a roadmap for achieving your financial goals. Find a CFP® professional today.

The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023



The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 - 28, 2023

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Acura ZDX Type S features

LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.
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LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.

The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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