(Daily Caller) – Nearly 3,000 California teachers are striking for a fifth day as they push for homeless shelters within the school and climate justice initiatives.
The Oakland Education Association (OEA) is continuing to strike Wednesday after failing to negotiate a contract extension with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), according to ABC 7 News. The teachers union is pushing for “common good” proposals, including the implementation of a “Climate Justice Day,” turning vacant school buildings into homeless housing and “reparations” for black students.
“In alignment with academic standards, OUSD shall support the development of culturally relevant curriculum by implementing the Ethnic Studies and Reparations for Black Students policies, collaborate with OEA to expand environmental justice curriculum, and support professional development for teachers to modify current curricula to increase its relevance for our diverse communities,” the OEA Tuesday proposal read.
The proposal includes field trips, workshops and teach-ins for “Climate Justice Day” to push “quality equitable and culturally relevant teaching.” The OEA is demanding “reparations for black students,” which include demands that district schools that enroll 40% or more African American students be transformed into “Black Thriving Community Schools” with a “task force” to ensure that “black students thrive.”
The union’s proposal demands that OUSD use its “underutilized spaces” to provide year-round housing for the homeless.
“I would also like to reiterate our position on common good proposals,” Mike Hutchison, OUSD school board president, told CBS News. “While we agree on the principles, they simply do not belong in contract language.”
HAPPENING NOW: Oakland teachers are holding four different “mega” picket lines across the city on day four of their OUSD strike. Teachers are fighting for not only higher pay but also for a number of “common good” goals to benefit all students. @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/ZGLbVGRcYV
— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) May 9, 2023
The district has offered the OEA a 10% raise and a one-time $5,000 bonus. OUSD is also proposing to remove “frozen zones” which can prevent teachers from receiving a raise for up to eight years.
While the union has been on strike, OUSD’s 80 buildings have remained open to students with office staff on duty to “educate and supervise” students, CBS News reported. In 2022, about 35% of OUSD students met English grade-level expectations while nearly 26% of students were proficient in math, according to EdSource.
“It (the strike) means little to no instruction is happening in our schools,” Hutchinson told the outlet.
OEA and OUSD did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.