Abolish OUSD's Debt to the State of California! Fund OEA's Full Contract Demands!

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We call on the OUSD administration along with California politicians Gavin Newsom, Rob Bonta, Nancy Skinner, and Tony Thurmond to take immediate steps toward waiving/abolishing OUSD's debt and fully fund OEA's reasonable contract proposal. 

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The Oakland Education Association (OEA) is currently on strike as a result of the Oakland Unified School District's (OUSD) refusal to fully fund public schools in Oakland, and pay Oakland's educators a living wage. Given that the state of California is predicted to have a budgetary surplus of over 20 billion dollars, this is the time to abolish the debt that was imposed on OUSD beginning in 2003 when state receivership began. Oakland's city council president Rebecca Kaplan has drafted a formal request to the governor to "waive" the remainder of the debt, and we support this and include the text of the letter below.

Important historical precedent: Richmond, California was one of the first cities to have a state loan imposed on it, and it also had part of its loan abolished. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in 2004 the state cut the interest rate to the Richmond Unified School District (now West Contra Costa Unified School District) as a result of a call from activist Dolores Huerta to the governor's wife. This happened during a weeks long hunger strike by teachers from Richmond who marched from the east bay to Sacramento to protest. While the reduction of the loan was just a reduction of the interest rate, it demonstrates that there is historical precedent for debt forgiveness.

Now is the time to go all the way and abolish the entire debt imposed on OUSD by the state during state receivership, and enable the district to fulfill the full contractual demands proposed by OEA. 

Link to Rebecca Kaplan's letter to Gavin Newsom calling for waiving the remaining debt owed by OUSD to the state of California: https://oaklandnewsnow.com/index.php/2019/02/22/rebecca-kaplan-oakland-city-council-president-to-gov-waive-ousd-emergency-loan/

Link to SF Chronicle article about Richmond, California's debt reduction: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/West-Contra-Costa-school-district-pays-off-debt-3603036.php