Latest News and Comment from Education

Monday, May 8, 2023




The Oakland teachers' strike has caused quite a stir, with parents, teachers, and the school board all taking sides. But let's be real, who wouldn't want to support our hardworking educators? They're the ones who spend countless hours molding the minds of our future generations and yet, they're not getting the support they need.

The district officials and union negotiators have been in talks since the strike started on Thursday, but it seems like they're still far apart on some issues. The union is demanding increased resources and policies outside the state-mandated bargaining topics, such as using district property for homeless families, increasing mental health staffing, reparations for Black students, water filtration units for every 300 students, subsidized transportation for all 34,000 students, and a formal role in deciding how to spend state grant money for community schools. 

I mean, come on, these are all common sense demands. It's not like they're asking for a private jet or a yacht. They're asking for basic resources that will help them do their jobs better and improve the lives of their students. And yet, the district officials seem to be dragging their feet on these issues.

The school board president, Mike Hutchinson, said that the board has limited bargaining to required items, including compensation and working conditions. But isn't it in the best interest of everyone to address these common good demands as well? It's not just about a livable wage for teachers; it's about creating a better learning environment for students.

The strike comes at a critical time in the school year, with less than three weeks left and the district's students still struggling with the academic and mental health fallout from the pandemic. But instead of supporting the teachers who are trying to make a difference, the Oakland chapter of the NAACP has condemned the strike. While they support fair compensation for teachers and their right to organize, they're calling on the Oakland Education Association to end the walkout.

I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough. We can't just brush aside the demands of our educators and expect them to continue working under these conditions. It's time for the district officials to step up and do what's right for the students and teachers of Oakland.

In the meantime, the teachers and their supporters will continue to march and picket, demanding the resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively. And we should all be standing with them, because at the end of the day, it's our children's futures that are at stake.

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OUSD strike: School board splits over walkout demands