MARCH TO DEFEND OAKLAND PUBLIC EDUCATION!
LABOR DAY 9/6 10:00 a.m.
Assemble at Grand Lake Theater
QUALITY EDUCATION FOR KIDS REQUIRES A GOOD CONTRACT FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES!
RECRUIT AND RETAIN EXPERIENCED TEACHERS!
NO CUTS, NO CAPS, NO LAYOFFS!
REHIRE ALL LAID-OFF SCHOOL DISTRICT WORKERS!
RESTORE OAKLAND'S CIVIL RIGHTS!
CANCEL THE SCHOOL DEBT!
RETURN LOCAL CONTROL NOW!
WARD'S PLANS INCREASE INEQUALITY IN OUR SCHOOLS! STOP DIVERTING PARCEL TAX
MONIES (MEASURE "E") FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SCHEMES! RESTORE TEACHERS' 4%!
OAKLAND IS NOT A POOR CITY: MAKE CLOROX, WORLD SAVINGS, SHORENSTEIN, AND
APL PAY THEIR SHARE!
CORPORATE OAKLAND: HELP PROVIDE OUR CHILDREN WITH WORLD CLASS EDUCATION,
LIBRARY AND HEALTH SERVICE SYSTEMS!
EQUALITY MEANS ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION: RESTORE ALL FUNDING TO UC, CSU
& COMMUNITY COLLEGES!
FUND EDUCATION, NOT PRISONS AND WAR!
Initiated by Oakland Education Association/CTA/NEA
August 9, 2004
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
As you can see from the attached Oakland Tribune op-ed piece, the OEA is
determined to defend Oakland and California public education from pre-K
through higher education.
Our first major community action to launch this significant campaign for
increased school funding will occur on Monday, September 6 (Labor Day) at
10:00 a.m. beginning at Lake Merritt (assembling outside the Grand Lake
Please endorse the rally call by completing the following commitment form.
__________________ endorses the OEA-initiated "March to Defend Public
Education." (Name of Organization)
July 12, 2004
Oakland Tribune/My Word
P.O. Box 28884
Oakland, CA 94604
As a 20 plus years career teacher in the Oakland Unified School District
and an elected leader of the Oakland Education Association/CTA/NEA, I
am rather disappointed by the recent coverage in the Tribune of the latest
woes besetting Oakland's and California's public school systems.
In contrast, when the OEA initiated our Three R's campaign in 1995 with the
appearance of Jonathan Kozol (author of Savage Inequalities) at the Kaiser
Convention Center, we received sympathetic coverage for our bold vision for
Oakland's public schools: Raise Teacher Salaries; Reduce Class Size; and
Reallocate Resources to the Classroom.
Personally, I have worked under 10 different superintendents on Second
Avenue: Love; Bowick; Coto; Pitts; Washington; Mesa; Getridge; Quan;
Musgrove; and Chaconas. Academic achievement in Oakland has only increased
lately mainly because of our lower class size ratios in Kindergarten
through 3rd grade and declining teacher turnover--A direct result of OEA's
and CTA's campaigns in the recent past for Classrooms First!
Unfortunately, our proven success is threatened by the revenue shortfalls
existing at the local, state, and national levels as the military expands,
the economy contracts and high income/corporate tax loopholes continue.
But, wait a minute! We are situated in the richest region in the wealthiest
state in the most affluent nation on earth. History will judge us harshly
unless the advocates of quality public schooling demand the following
minimal support for our young people:
1) The federal government must fulfill its promise to our exceptional
children who are mainly educated in our public schools because private and
parochial schools are not legally required to address their special
needs. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has to be
funded by Washington at 40%, not its current 17%.
2) The state government in Sacramento must significantly increase funding
to all our beleaguered school districts. We are backsliding again past
35th place in the USA in K-12 per student dollars although our cost of
living, especially for housing in urban California, is the highest on the
continent. If our statešs schools were funded at the national average,
Oakland, Vallejo, Richmond, and Hayward would not be under or threatened
with unilateral state control! Bechtel, Hewlett-Packard, Chevron-Texaco,
McKesson, Safeway, Wells Fargo, Golden West, and Clorox and 46 other
California companies are in the Fortune 500!
3) Here in Oakland, we see a tale of two cities. While the ports (sea and
air) are expanding, downtown building resumes, and the firestormed hills
are rebuilt, we see our public schools, hospitals, libraries, and fire
stations threatened by inadequate tax receipts and large interest payments
on borrowed money. Locally, major changes to our much less than
progressive tax structures (corporate income and property) can help ensure
a literate, healthy, and safe community. The East Bay alone currently
ranks 20th in the USA in corporate wealth.
Will Oakland be a leader in the fight for economic justice? Or will we
continue to see a "separate, but equal" city defined by liberal hypocrisy,
unequal schools, two-tier health care and unaffordable housing?
President/Oakland Education Association