OAKLAND (KPIX) — There were no classes at any of the Oakland Unified schools Friday as teachers participated in a one-day strike and district administrators asked students to stay home.
It all has to do with planned school closures. At the end of the current school year, Community Day and Parker K-8 will close and La Escuelita will lose its middle school.
In the 2022-2023 school year, Brookfield Elementary, Carl B. Munck Elementary, Grass Valley Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary and Korematsu Discovery Academy will close. Hillcrest K-8 would close its middle school grades. Rise Community Elementary and New Highland Academy will merge this year into one school.
The father of a 4th grader at La Escuelita says parents are the ones who asked the teachers to strike.
“We asked the union to help us because the school board is not helping us at all,” Max Orozco told KPIX. He says he felt parents didn’t have much recourse after the board’s decision in February to close or consolidate the schools so that’s when he turned to the teachers.
“Thanks to the teachers, we were able to get more unions involved on this since they’re more knowledgeable on how to do the strikes and protests,” Orozco said.
Approximately 2,000 teachers are expected to participate in the strike. Quinn Ranahan is one of them. She teaches middle school math at Montera but she used to teach at Roots which closed in 2019.
“I went through a school closure personally and it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Ranahan told KPIX.
She says the closures are happening in underserved communities that need more resources not fewer.
“These school closures are disproportionately impacting our Black and Brown students in Oakland. For instance, Community Day School is a restorative justice school for students that are typically expelled. Closing that school is impacting the highest needs schools in our community, students that traditional school doesn’t work for.”
Friday’s planned strike got so contentious, OUSD went to the California Public Employment Relations Board to ask for an order to stop the teachers from striking. That request was denied late Thursday afternoon.
OUSD released a statement earlier this week saying “This action impacts our entire OUSD community, especially our students who should be in school learning.”
While all Friday classes are canceled, the district has also announced all interscholastic sports scheduled for the day are being rescheduled or canceled.
Source : https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2022/04/29/oakland-teachers-strike-friday-school-closures/