Oakland, CA - CCSA is pleased that the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) have reached a tentative agreement that will return students to the classroom. The strike in Oakland has put the challenges facing public education front and center, where they belong. However, we are disappointed that OUSD prioritized political expediency over kids and agreed to pursue a moratorium to limit public school options in Oakland.
"A charter school moratorium won't solve the financial challenges before OUSD," said Myrna Castrejón, president and CEO, CCSA. "The real problem facing Oakland public schools is a persistent achievement gap and the dearth of opportunities available to students, especially those who most urgently need lifelines to better outcomes, like the ones charter public schools provide. The Oakland community has a lot of hard choices to make. Closing opportunity for students who need it the most shouldn't be one of them."
Oakland charter schools are concentrated in the city's most disadvantaged neighborhoods and serve a student population that mirrors OUSD traditional schools and they are working well for students. Charter schools graduate more students and send more kids to college than OUSD public schools.
"Rather than pursuing a unified push for fair and adequate funding for all of California's public schools, the union is choosing to pit public school families against one another. Sacrificing the futures of students thriving in charter schools is an attempt to deflect from the serious issues confronting public education financing and nowhere is there a focus on improving schools or what works best for students. We should be working together to deliver for all students, defend great schools, and demand full funding."
As an independent non-profit organization, CCSA was not a party to the negotiations between OEA and OUSD. CCSA voiced concerns directly with Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell and the President of the Board of Directors, Aimee Eng cautioning them not to engage in illegal negotiating practices. The letter also encouraged OEA and OUSD not to engage in policy or legislative proposals that undermine the rights of charter school students, parents and teachers.
About California's Charter Schools
California's charter schools are public schools built to put the needs of students first. Public, free, and open to all, charter schools are a valuable part of our public education system. They offer a different approach -- one that is as unique as the kids they serve, one that puts kids above bureaucracy, and one that gives passionate teachers the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to kids' individual needs. As a result, charter schools send more kids to college and are preparing more kids for the jobs of tomorrow.