Oakland Unified is struggling with a balancing act that requires it to improve its students’ academic performance next year while also slashing millions of dollars from its budget.

At a school board meeting last month, Troy Christmas, the district’s financial services director, told the school board they must cut $5 million to $7 million from their budget next year or face insolvency.

At the same time, the East Bay district is one of 28 in California that could face state intervention in the 2019-20 school year because of poor performance by students based on California’s new school accountability system.

The four lowest-scoring groups in Oakland were African-American students, English learners, homeless students and those with disabilities.

But before the possibility of state intervention kicks in, Oakland and many other districts are receiving extra help from their county offices of education, called “differentiated assistance.”

The 28 districts are those with three or more student subgroups with a red rating, which face the possibility of state intervention. The idea is to provide support to districts to help them improve, rather than punish them for low performance.

Read the full article on Oakland schools by Theresa Harrington at EdSource