On the Issues

Safety  Safe schools need adequate staffing, involved families and to be free from bullying.  Safety allows kids to focus on what is important - a good education.  We have to ensure that every school has enough caring adults, and to create a district culture that encourages community members who want to volunteer to do so.  Safe schools are created in part by communities that are invested in the success of the school.

Attendance  We urgently need a comprehensive strategy to improve attendance in Oakland's schools.  This is a key factor in the success of the community as a whole, because Oakland is safer when kids are in school.  Improving attendance boosts high school graduation rates, brings additional resources into the district, and gives kids the instructional time they need to succeed in school.

Investing in Teaching  Oakland students need a stable and experienced teacher workforce, but right now, we are losing 60% of our teachers in the first five years.  Oakland has the lowest-paid teachers in Alameda County, who earn, on average, $17,000 less than Pleasanton teachers.  We need to provide better training and support, as well as more competitive salaries, so that we can attract and retain great teachers.

Increasing Opportunities  Every child is motivated and inspired differently.  Cuts to vocational and after school programs, school libraries, pe, music and the arts have resulted in many students not seeing anything that speaks to their interests or passion at school.  We need to provide exposure and avenues to all kinds of careers.  Whether students are headed to college or not, we need to provide an education that inspires and helps them to identify and cultivate their interests.

Partnership  Families play a critical role in preparing kids for school.  Stronger - and earlier - partnerships between educators and families will ensure that every child in every neighborhood starts school with a stronger foundation for life.

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