California voters have decided not to restore affirmative action in schools. Proposition 16, which failed by a margin of 12 percentage points, would have reversed a 1996 ban on considering race, gender or ethnicity in public education systems and public contracting.  State lawmakers—motivated by high-profile racial injustices, such as the police killing of George Floyd—voted…

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The Elmhurst School campus that Elmhurst Community Prep currently shares with Alliance Academy

Voters will decide next month whether to approve a ballot measure which could provide a windfall for schools and local governments, but a far greater burden on businesses and tax assessors.  The existing property tax law is governed by a 1978 ballot measure, Proposition 13, which significantly limited state property taxes. But the new measure,…

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OUSD students speak at the school board meeting.

At the auditorium of La Escuelita Elementary school Wednesday evening, Oakland Unified School District police officers were notably absent. So, too, were the barricades that had been set up to block protestors during a previous school board meeting on October 23, which had ended with the arrest of several protesters who oppose school closures and…

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Blue tables sit outdoors on a sunny afternoon at Oakland High School. The tables are behind a wall with the words, "writer", "diplomat", "activist" and other professions painted in yellow writing.

After the Oakland Unified Schools District (OUSD) eliminated the district’s free supper program in 2018, student organizers from Oakland Kids First, a city organization that supports youth organizing and campaign work, and the OUSD Superintendent’s Office teamed up to recover and revamp the program.

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Classified workers represented by SEIU were on the picket lines with teachers during their strike in February. Now, classified workers are challenging layoffs and low pay.

Melvin Phillips has worked in Oakland schools for the last 27 years. He is currently the lead school security officer at Fremont High School and he is one of hundreds of classified employees in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Classified workers include instructional specialists like classroom support staff and tutors, administrative workers, custodians, security…

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Hundreds of Oakland students protested budget cuts at a school board meeting in March. Last week, Oakland City Council restored funding for student programs affected by those cuts. Photo by Nikka Singh.

Last Tuesday, the Oakland City Council passed a resolution to provide $1.2 million in funding for the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) restorative justice program, foster youth case manager positions, and school libraries. All three programs were at risk of enacting widespread layoffs or reductions to the services they provide following the Oakland school board’s…

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