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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism
Rally for Oakland teachers at the State Building
Photos of a rally in Oakland against state plans to cut teachers and the Adult Education Program
There was a rally of 400-500 students, teachers and concerned community members in Oakland. We rallied in front of the State Building since the state legislature is controlling the school district. The legislature appointed Randy Ward to run the school district after a debt was incurred due to poor administrative decisions several years ago. Ward plans to cut many school programs. The worst cut is his plan to cut the entire Adult Education Program. About ten percent of the population of Oakland is enrolled in adult education classes. These classes teach highschool equivelancy and English. Without these skills Oakland residents are at a disadvantage when it comes to employment. As Oakland residents we all want an educated public but the state legislature doesn't have the same priorities. Many of the adult education students marched from thier schools. For some of them, "Save our schools," is some of the only English they know.
The Rally was held across the street from the State Building in Downtown Oakland at 4:00 on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. The crowd was tremendously diverse with people of all ages and races and from many countries enthusiastically taking part. It seems we all have something to learn, from kids to the elderly. There were many speakers and the audience cheered and held up banners and placards. Many drivers on Clay Street honked in support. At about 5:00 we went acros the street to try to get our message insde but a dozen CHP officers blocked us. A state aid came out and met us but no real progress was made since he could just listen and report back. We sat for a while and we had more speakers. Eventualy the crowd marched to the Oakland City Council to speak thier minds.