Oakland Unified to pursue parcel tax to fund career pathways

June 9, 2014

The Oakland Unified School District is moving ahead with a plan to ask voters to authorize a $120-per-year parcel tax to fund career pathway programs in district schools.

The parcel tax is believed to be the first-of-its-kind to specifically support career pathway programs, which integrate academics with hands-on career experience, putting students into internships, job-shadowing opportunities and other work opportunities. The tax will support district efforts to get 80 percent of high school students into linked learning pathway programs.

The school board voted May 28 to prepare a tax measure for the November ballot. The measure would raise about $12 million a year to fund the pathway programs. Ninety percent of the money raised would go to fund programs in district high schools and charter schools; the remaining 10 percent would be reserved for administering the programs.

District officials said expanding the programs will help increase graduation rates, reduce drop out rates and help prepare students for college and careers.

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