On Wednesday evening, a crowd of nearly 150 people, many of them parents, kids, and Occupy Oakland protesters, gathered on the concrete steps of Lakeview Elementary School hours after their two-week-old tent city was raided by Oakland Unified School District police and other law enforcement officers. The encampment was an effort to protest the district’s decision to close five elementary schools —Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell and Sante Fe—and keep all neighborhood schools open.

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The Oakland Unified School District’s controversial proposal to close five elementary schools this fall, and more in coming years, follows a multi-year program of encouraging small small schools–subdividing bigger facilities into multiple smaller ones, each with fewer students and a more intimate climate. But funding and enrollment changes have pushed the district to what promises to be an emotional meeting and vote Wednesday night.

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About 30 teachers gathered Thursday to demonstrate in front of three banks at the Rockridge shopping center at 51st Street and Broadway. McClymonds Teacher Craig Gordon explained the group was there to “demand that schools and public services be bailed out” the same way that banks were bailed out during the mortgage crisis.

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