Keep Oakland Schools Public!
Billionaire-funded charter school organizations are buying our school board members, implementing school closures and co-locations, and turning students and parents into yet another vector for billionaire profit. We're fighting to keep Oakland's schools public, and to keep charter schools and their billionaire influencers out of our communities! Join Us!
- A Ban on Forced School Closures, Charter Co-locations, and Mergers
- Converting All Existing Charters to Public Schools
- Mass Increase in School Funding from the State of California and the Federal Government
- Bulldozing the School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Community Control of Schools
- Eradicating OUSD Cronyism
What we've done under COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has shaken up a lot of our original plans. Nonetheless, we are continuing the campaign remotely! Here are some activities we're engaging in to keep up the effort:
- Keeping Watch on OUSD, attending their board meetings
- Following the money, researching stakeholders of charter schools
- Phonebanking board members of charter schools and OUSD
- Joining in with Oakland teachers and OEA in strike actions
- Creating and distributing coloring books in English, Espanol and 中文
- Writing articles exposing the situation in our public schools through our publication Majority
Almost one year ago Oakland Teachers embarked on a historic strike. They weren't just striking for the basic dignity of affording rent, they were also striking for their students who weren't getting the education they deserve. They had four major demands:
- A Living Wage
- Lowering the student to teacher ratio
- Raising the nurse to student ratio
- Ending school closures
After a weeklong strike, the Teachers won a victory for their communities, signing a contract that increased pay, addressed demands for smaller class sizes and more support staff, and set a moratorium on school closures, though only lasting through that summer.
But the strike also drew a line. A line between the parents, the teachers, the students that inhabit our schools and the school board. A line between working class Oaklanders and billionaire “philanthropists”. A line between those who want every single student, regardless of race or neighborhood, to get a quality education and those who would make a profit off of students and parents.
Directors Jumoke Hinton-Hodge (District 3), James Harris (District 7), Gary Yee (District 4) and Jody London (District 1) were all backed by GO Public Schools. GO Public Schools and other pro-charter organizations, who fund the campaigns of pro-charter OUSD board members, are funded by billionaires like Mike Bloomberg- who oversaw stop and frisk in New York. These board members then vote to close schools and implement co-locations, increasing displacement and inequality in communities of color. These closures mostly occur in the formerly redlined flatlands, whose residents are majority people of color. With the lack of funding and school closures, charters seem like an appealing choice to many parents. When parents are divided between themselves and against teachers, it’s easy for the rich to turn a profit.
But here's the facts!
- Charter Schools overall don’t outperform neighborhood public schools
- Charters often discriminate against Black and Brown students, and students with special needs
This is a pivotal moment. OUSD has school board elections in November, and four out of seven board member seats are up for election with no incumbents running. This gives us a good chance of getting people we want on the board. In the meantime, we'll be organizing parents and teachers, canvassing, and creating agitational art. Learn more about how you can help.
Neoliberalism and Education- A book of essays about the efforts by capitalists to turn schools into yet another vector for profit.
Majority: Everything You Need to know about the proposed Oakland school closures by Katie Ferrari