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The 'Yes on L' campaign has taken root in Oakland, but the teachers' union is remaining neutral.

A proponent of Measure L weighs in

on October 25, 2010

In Oakland, the school district had to cut $122 million from its budget this year, and teachers have not gotten a raise in nearly a decade. Some folks are trying to change that. They’ve put a measure on the ballot that would create a 54-cent per day property tax to raise teachers’ salaries.

The Oakland teachers’ union has long fought for a raise, but they pulled out of the coalition that crafted the measure last fall and are now taking a neutral position. They’re upset that some of the money would go to teachers at charter schools, and that the measure contains language about retaining “effective teachers” without defining the term.

To learn more about how the measure would work and what the benefits to Oakland students might be, Lillian Mongeau caught up with one of the measure’s biggest champions, Jonathan Klein of Great Oakland Public Schools.

Click the audio player to hear Jonathan Klein speak about Measure L.


  1. OakGirl on October 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

    This ballot measure is as poorly crafted as 2004 Measure Y. The teachers are correct regarding the “effective teacher” language. It is vague and meaningless. I rarely agree with teacher unions but voting No on L is the right decision.

    Vote No on L

  2. OakGirl on October 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Mr. Klein never defines an effective teacher. He says that this tax will reward effective teachers. Are all teachers effective? Will less effective teachers receive nothing? What about Johnny in west Oakland, will he now have an effective teacher or just a bad teacher who is paid more. Measure L is about the second worst measure on the ballot.

    Read the measure people. The measure is extremely vague, and at the end of the day, there are absolutely no assurances that your $200MM was spent on effective teachers. Until someone includes language that defines effective teachers, then your only choice is to vote NO.

    Vote No On Measure L.

  3. len raphael on October 26, 2010 at 12:41 am

    I could see supporting this parcel tax if it were limited to preventing increases in class sizes.

    But no matter how deserving, telling voters many of whom themselves have suffered 20 to 100% reductions in their incomes and retirement savings to pay higher parcel taxes for teacher raises is shall I put politely, nutty.

    Teachers get guarranteed pensions and decent benefits. Most Oakland residents get neither.

    -len raphael

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