From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Community Meeting on the Crisis in Oakland Schools
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Cox Elementary School, 9860 Sunnyside Street at 98th Avenue and Bancroft (near the 98th Ave Exit off Route 580)
February 1, 2005
Dear Labor, Interfaith and/or Community Leader,
This is an invitation for you to attend the second major community meeting sponsored by the Oakland Education Association (OEA) to discuss the crisis in Oakland’s schools and how we take action together to preserve public education in Oakland. The meeting will occur on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, from 5:00 pm to 8 pm at Cox Elementary School. It will be building up to a larger town hall meeting that will occur in early March.
Our first meeting brought together a wide range of leaders from Oakland, including school board members, labor leaders, teachers, parent leaders, youth leaders, community organizations, and interfaith leaders. We are excited to build upon this success.
As you know, Oakland’s schools are in crisis. The State of California is operating our District under State Superintendent O’Connell’s supervision. The State is working to undermine the existence of unified public education in our city. For the second year in a row, they are proposing to shut down schools in Oakland’s poorest neighborhoods, which will keep students attending large, over-crowded schools and force young students to travel outside their neighborhoods to attend school.
In 2005 we also face the potential negative impact of the “No Child Left Behind Act” as 13 Oakland schools become open to “Requests for Proposals” from private charter companies and other organizations who do not have the skills and experience needed to provide for Oakland’s children. At the same time we have an opportunity to create alliances between teachers and parents to restructure these schools as part of OUSD and demand better opportunities for our children. We must seize this moment to make this alternative vision a reality.
At the same time that our schools are being challenged with charters and privatization, the State is also threatening to take away basic rights for Oakland school employees. Good learning conditions are needed for qualified employees to stay within the Oakland schools and provide quality education for our children. The State is looking to cap school employees’ health care coverage and take away specialty classes (such as art and music) from Oakland’s children. O’Connell and Dr. Randolph Ward are seeking to cut our already understaffed counselors, librarians, home and hospital, and alternative educators. Their attacks also go deep into our schools’ food workers and custodians, as well as aides and substitutes.
It is time for us to take a stand for the future of Oakland’s children! Please join us on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Cox Elementary School, 9860 Sunnyside Street at 98th Avenue and Bancroft. Refreshments and childcare will be provided. Please RSVP to me at (510) 763-4020 x15.
President, Oakland Education Association
c: OEA Executive Board pg/cor/012705c
Added to the calendar on Tue, Feb 8, 2005 2:32AM