OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – In response to possible school closures and mergers in Oakland, city leaders are asking the governor and state lawmakers to bail out the school district.

OUSD revealed a plan last month impacting 16 schools to help balance their budget.

Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Sheng Thao, along with three other city leaders, are not only asking for OUSD’s debt to be eliminated but also for funding mechanisms based on attendance to be changed.

Right now, funding is allocated to public schools based on the number of students attending the school every day.

Thao says the lasting effects of the pandemic such as student absences are not being considered.

The councilmember is also concerned about where these potential closures would happen.

“Every single time there are school closures it’s always in the most hardest-hit communities. These are our black and brown kids, our low-income families. Our most marginalized families.”

The resolution suggests the money to help save the schools could come from the state’s anticipated $45 billion surpluses.

This week, Oakland teachers have gone on a hunger strike in protest of the possible closures.

A rally is planned for Friday afternoon in front of city hall.