nick resnick sitting behind a microphone at a school board debate
Nick Resnick participates in a school board candidates' forum hosted by Families in Action in September 2022. Credit: Amir Aziz

In the midst of an election controversy and facing a trial in Alameda County Superior Court, Oakland’s District 4 school board Director Nick Resnick announced his resignation on Tuesday through a statement on his website.

“I recognize I can continue to contest this election for months and that for months we can spend precious public funds on a legal process and have uncertainty about who is ultimately going to occupy this seat,” Resnick wrote. “At this time, I don’t think that is what’s best for this community and I don’t think that’s going to help get our schools where they need to go. Instead, at this time, I am making the choice to congratulate my opponent and share that I will no longer be opposing the election contest, and therefore resigning from the D4 seat.”

Resnick was declared the winner of the District 4 race after the Alameda County Registrar of Voters released its final vote count in November. His victory was certified by the county and he was sworn into office with the rest of the board last month.

But on Dec. 28, the registrar announced that its vote-counting machines had incorrectly tallied ranked-choice votes and that the outcome of the District 4 board race was affected by the error. After re-processing the ballots, the registrar concluded that Mike Hutchinson was the rightful winner. Hutchinson, who currently represents District 5 on the school board, had chosen to compete for the District 4 seat after Oakland’s new district map placed his address there.

Hutchinson filed a petition in early January contesting the election result in Alameda County Superior Court, and a judge had set a trial date for March 16 to review all of the evidence. 

Resnick said in his statement released Tuesday that he is withdrawing his legal challenge to Hutchinson’s petition.

In order for Hutchinson to assume the District 4 seat, the Superior Court must still declare him the winner and the election result will need to be re-certified. At that point, Hutchinson could resign from his District 5 seat to take the District 4 position. The school board then would have the option to either hold a special election for District 5 or appoint someone. 

Resnick is the second school board director to resign in the last year. Last May, District 6 Director Shanthi Gonzales resigned following the board’s decision to close schools, which led to a backlash that included protests at school board members’ homes, and contentious school board meetings. The board appointed Kyla Mungia to serve out the remainder of Gonzales’ term until a new director was elected in November. Mungia ran for the seat but finished second to Valarie Bachelor, a union organizer who ran on a platform of opposing school closures.

Resnick, a father of two, a former OUSD teacher, and the CEO of a curriculum company, said during his campaign that he wanted to bring to the board a renewed focus on academic achievement and student outcomes. 

In his statement, Resnick vowed to continue advocating for quality schools in Oakland. 

“I don’t know exactly how I’m going to take this on over the next few years but what I do know is that I am going to commit my time, my energy, and my voice to make progress toward a day where all families will actively choose, in every segment of our community, a local public school that inspires and delights them.” 

Ashley McBride writes about education equity for The Oaklandside. Her work covers Oakland’s public district and charter schools. Before joining The Oaklandside in 2020, Ashley was a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News and the San Francisco Chronicle as a Hearst Journalism Fellow, and has held positions at the Poynter Institute and the Palm Beach Post. Ashley earned her master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.