The Oakland School Board race could determine the future of democratic public education far beyond Oakland. Don’t believe it? Michael Bloomberg just donated $500,000 to our local Oakland School Board race!
Why? Because Oakland is Ground Zero for billionaires like him who wish to privatize the public schools.
One third of Oakland schools are charter schools, the largest proportion in California.
Charters are privately run but funded by public tax dollars and directly drain funds otherwise available to our public schools.
The current Oakland School Board has facilitated charter take over by voting to authorize new charters while simultaneously closing public schools. Fortunately we have an opportunity to change this direction because all four incumbents up for re-election in November have decided to step down. There are candidates in each of the four districts up for election – a majority – who are committed not only to turning around the privatization but also to making sure there is a quality public school in every neighborhood and that those most in need –communities of color – get the resources and support they deserve.
The existing Board has been out of touch with school sites and communities, and has supported the growth of a central administration and highly paid “consultants” far in excess of almost any California school district.
In light of the stakes, both the Educators for Democratic Schools (over a hundred current and retired educators and civil rights activists) as well as the Wellstone Democratic Club (over 300 progressives), have endorsed Sam Davis (District 1), VanCedric Williams (District 3), Mike Hutchinson (District 5) and Victor Valerio (District 7).
These candidates are committed to an equitable distribution of resources to schools and classrooms and to providing leadership in the movement to change state and national policies which prevent public schools from producing communities of joy, justice and critical thinking.
Each of these candidates is willing to ask staff and central office the hard questions, use a racial justice equity lens for all policy and hiring decisions, support teachers and their unions, use standardized testing to support educational growth rather than as a rationale for closing schools, demand long overdue transparency in all budget issues and not bend to pressures from billionaires like Bloomberg and their local supporters like GO Public Schools and Families in Action.
Join EDS in supporting these 4 progressive candidates Sam Davis (District 1), VanCedric Williams (District 3), Mike Hutchinson (District 5) and Victor Valerio (District 7) so that we can make the future for all Oakland students and our community better and more just.
Educators for Democratic Schools and Wellstone Democratic Club.
Contact David Weintraub-510-918-7924, firstname.lastname@example.org