The Oakland Unified School District needed to trim about $500,000 from it’s sports budget this year — so it recently announced it was cutting 10 different programs across the district at the high school level.
At least, that was the plan until the Oakland Raiders stepped in.
The Raiders announced on Tuesday night that they have donated $250,000 to the school district to help it save high school sports in the Oakland area.
“The prospect of these kids losing their dreams was difficult to hear for everyone in the community,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “After school athletics are an important part of the high school experience and this donation will keep student-athletes on the playing fields in Oakland.”
According to Michael Lerseth of SFGate, the district had already gathered a few private investments to help save girls tennis, golf and lacrosse — many of which came in after it was learned that the 10 sports that were being cut would eliminate 347 girls teams and only 183 boys teams.
The district does still need about $200,000 to close the gap and save the remaining sports, however the Raiders’ donation is a huge step in the right direction.
“For decades, the Oakland Raiders have been big brothers to our football players and models for all students to emulate,” superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said in a statement. “They have been there for us when we were down, and when our students needed someone to look up to.
“But this donation from the Raiders is like a last-second game-winning touchdown … $250,000 will go a long way to ensuring that our young people can dedicate themselves on the fields and courts, in the pools, and on the mats this year and beyond. There’s no way to properly thank anyone for such a huge donation, so let me just say from all students, staff and families, we thank the Oakland Raiders, and like us, you will always be OUSD.”
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