Oakland teachers conduct one-day strike against school closures – CBS San Francisco

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 high school.

Brookfield Elementary, Carl B. Munck Elementary, Grass Valley Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary, and Korematsu Discovery Academy will close for the 2022-2023 school year. Hillcrest K-8 would close its high school grades. Rise Community Elementary and New Highland Academy will merge into one school this year.

The father of a fourth-grader from La Escuelita says parents are the ones who have asked teachers to go on strike.

“We have 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 did not have much refuge after the board’s decision in February to close or consolidate the schools, so he turned to the teachers.

“The teachers have allowed us to involve more unions because they know more about how to run the strikes and protests,” Orozco said.

About 2,000 teachers are expected to participate in the strike. Quinn Ranahan is one of them. She teaches high school math in Montera but used to teach Roots, which closed in 2019.

“I personally went through a school closure 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 less.

“These school closures are having a disproportionate impact on our Black and Brown students in Oakland. For example, Community Day School is a restorative justice school for students who are typically expelled. Closing that school will impact the most needy schools in our community, students that the traditional school doesn’t work for.”

Friday’s planned strike became so controversial that OUSD went to the California Public Employment Relations Board to request an injunction to stop the teachers from going on strike. That request was denied late Thursday afternoon.

OUSD released a statement earlier this week saying, “This action affects our entire OUSD community, especially our students who should be learning in school.”

WEB LINK: Statement of Oakland Unified School District

While all classes have been canceled on Friday, the district has also announced that all interscholastic sports scheduled for that day will be rescheduled or canceled.

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