Teachers, united in their passion for serving students, carry unique experiences and perspectives that influence their practices in the classroom. A school district in need of new budget practices that are sustainable and better meet the needs of students should embrace the voices of teachers and their diverse range of expertise. Read about two of these diverse teacher voices and the budget framework for which they advocate, and share your own perspectives about the framework below!
Often the few opportunities teachers have to collaborate across schools or networks are focused on pedagogy. Yet, every day teachers bear witness to the larger systemic issues facing their students. If city-wide changes will be made to better serve students, we need district and charter teachers to come share their expertise.
Since September 2017, the 5th Cohort of Teacher Policy Fellows have engaged in learning about education policy making in Oakland and the foundation and vision of two GO campaigns, Budgeting for Impact and 1Oakland. They are now taking action as leaders in these campaigns.
You’ve heard the stories or perhaps even experienced them if, like us, you’re a teacher: the buying of pencils and paper, the cobbling together of DonorsChoose.org campaigns to purchase books and fund field trips, the constant stress and consideration about whether or not the salary provides a sustainable living. The narrative around underfunded classrooms (and educators) is not a new one and we’re not here to continue to list the familiar woes plaguing teachers around our nation. We are interested, however, in outlining specific, ongoing challenges facing Oakland’s budget and, importantly, what we plan to do and how you can help us.
As a former Oakland Unified principal, I know that our school district is not perfect. But my North Star as a leader – for my students, teachers, and the district as a whole – was always asking if we were improving and learning from our mistakes.