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Oakland teachers set to strike

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Oakland teachers set to strike

PHOTO BY ISMAEL ARMENDARIZ/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY ISMAEL ARMENDARIZ/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY ISMAEL ARMENDARIZ/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

By Alli Weseman, PHOTO EDITOR

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Oakland Unified School District teachers announced in a press conference on Saturday that they will be going on strike on Thursday Feb 21.
The decision came after the OUSD and educators were unable to come to a contract agreement.
Oakland teachers are asking for a pay increase, reduction in class size and investment by the district in schools. They have been working without a contract since July 2017.
“Enough is enough. Bargaining with our school district has not worked,” said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, at a news conference on Saturday, according to KQED.
Educators have asked for a 12 percent raise over three years, reduction in class-sizes over two years and better resources for support staff.
In response, district officials have offered a five percent pay raise over three years and a marginal reduction in class sizes for certain classes, including a cap of 15 students in special education programs.
District Spokesman John Sasaki said that schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by emergency temporary teachers and district staff, according to KQED.
Teachers plan to have picket lines at all Oakland schools, followed by a rally at City Hall and a march to OUSD Central Office.
The Oakland School District has incurred a $30 million budget deficit. Educators have blamed this on OUSD gradually reducing resources for teachers, according to the Oakland Education Association.
The district spent $7.9 million on supplies during the 2017-2018 school year which is a substantial decrease from previous years.
During the current school year, the district has only spent $1.4 million. Teachers have been forced to use their own funds to buy supplies due to the decrease in available funding.
OUSD has proposed closing under-performing schools such as Roots International Academy in East Oakland. In August, the district announced that they would have to cut 10 sports programs to offset a budget deficit, according to East Bay Times.
To prevent the cuts, an anonymous donor stepped in and donated $35,000 and the Oakland Raiders announced the team donated $250,000 to save all the sports that were affected.

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Oakland teachers set to strike