Letter from OUSD Parents United to the Board of Education Directors

April 29, 2015

Dear OUSD Board of Education Directors,

As parents of OUSD students, we are writing to you disappointed that the District has not yet reached a contract agreement with our teachers.  We are members of OUSD Parents United, a network of parents at over two dozen Oakland public schools. Parents in our organization believe that you – the elected leaders of the District – are responsible for assuring a contract settlement that will truly help make Oakland public schools the quality schools our students deserve.

We won’t repeat all the statistics to you, we know you know them. We also know that you agree with us that Oakland teachers are woefully underpaid and that teacher turnover is a problem we cannot afford to retain. Oakland teachers should be making some of the best wages in the Bay Area, not the worst. Every day that the District fails to reach a wage agreement that brings our teachers up to competitive levels without contingencies, is a day lost in our shared-goal of improving our schools.

Beyond wages, teachers and students need a contract with hard caps on the size of special education classes and caseloads for special education teachers.  We need a contract that provides meaningful ratios of counselors to students so that children can get the advice and guidance they require to be successful.

Finally, our teachers need to feel respected and valued. Some of this will come with competitive wages, but we need an OEA contract that assures veteran teachers that in the event of an involuntary transfer (or a return from an extended leave) they will not have to compete with less experienced (and less expensive) teachers for a classroom position.

As the elected leaders of the District, it is YOUR job to make sure that all of Oakland’s children receive the best possible education. If the District fails to honor its teachers with a more substantial raise, better support and working conditions and by recognizing the value of veteran teachers, we are leaving our children far short of the schools they deserve. The time is now, use your position as a leader of the District to demonstrate that OUSD values its teachers – and its children – by reaching an equitable, competitive contract for our teachers.

Sincerely,

Kim Davis

Joaquin Miller/Oakland Tech

Shaless Peoples

Sequoia Elementary

Michael-David Sasson

Glenview Elementary

Ann Swinburn

Melrose Leadership Academy

Stephanie McGraw

Hillcrest School

Melinda Gallagher

Kaiser Elementary

Kym McCourt

Crocker Highlands

Stephanie Pepitone

Sequoia Elementary

Nommi Alouf

Melrose Leadership Academy

Erin Proudfoot

Laurel Elementary

Vivian Chang

Crocker Highlands

Sarah Stephens

Cleveland Elementary

Kirsten Cross

Glenview Elementary

Amy Jo Evje

Peralta Elementary

Jody Christensen

Manzanita SEED

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