On the first day of a district-wide strike, students join their teachers in Oakland, California, to demand higher wages for educators and more resources for public schools. Gabe, 10, holds a sign during the march in downtown Oakland.Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones
More than 3,000 teachers in Oakland stood on picket lines for a second straight day Friday to demand better pay, smaller class sizes, and more resources for their district’s beleaguered schools.
On Thursday, I joined my colleague Edwin Rios as he reported on the first day of the teachers’ strike from Roots International Academy, an East Oakland middle school the district recently decided would close at the end of the school year. Later, I headed downtown for the noon rally, where hundreds of educators, students, and supporters protested before marching to the district’s headquarters. “It’s almost impossible for me to provide what my students need,” Amber Perkins Ellis, a social science teacher at Coliseum College Prep Academy, told me. “It’s not my fault, but it feels like it is. They deserve better.”
The strike comes on the heels of a similar work stoppage in Los Angeles and other successful teacher strikes in West Virginia and Denver. Union officials in Oakland said educators were prepared to continue protesting until their demands were met.