Oakland’s Teachers Are On Strike: How Charters Have Contributed to the School District’s Fiscal Crisis


In Oakland, California the school district is broke, and the teachers are on strike.

In a major report published last May, the political economist Gordon Lafer described the fiscal crisis in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD): “In November 2017, California’s Oakland Unified School District faced a budget deficit of $15 million.  Parents, students, and teachers protested against planned cuts, which targeted everything from books and copy paper to substitute teachers and mental health professionals. ‘These cuts will touch students in every school in the district,’ said one group of parent activists, urging the Board of Education to concentrate cuts in central district offices and spare school-site staff.  Yet cutbacks at the central office also proved painful, which became apparent when the district announced plans to terminate its head librarian.  In the end, OUSD instituted $9 million in cuts, including slashing funds for academic counselors, school supplies, and even toilet…

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