Photo by Lee Heidhues. Strikers at 12th and Oak Streets
Some are getting priced out of their homes. The crisis is so dire, the school district is losing almost 20% of its teachers every year.
“It’s time for the (school) district to listen now. They forced us to this moment to strike,” said Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown.
But here’s the problem: Teachers are demanding higher raises from a school district that’s already broke. The Oakland Unified School District is in such bad shape, it’s planning to lay off 112 staff.
The district says it barely has enough money to take care of its low-income students — 75% qualify for free or reduced lunch. So giving teachers higher raises might be out of the question.
No one knows how long this strike will last, or what victory for either side will look like. But it will come at a steep cost to a community already suffering.