Oakland schools seek substitutes on Craigslist as teachers' strike looms

With an Oakland teachers strike looming, the school district has placed an ad on Craigslist seeking emergency temporary teachers. It's one of several websites the district is using.

According to the ad, candidates must have at least a Bachelor's degree. The pay is $300 a day. That's more than double the $113 daily rate for substitute teachers.

"They have reduced the requirements for substitutes. There are no letters of recommendation as there usually is in the process. They are looking to do it in such a quick way," said Chaz Garcia, a special education teacher and union officer. 

The school district said it intends to keep schools open. Even if teachers do strike.

"We are hoping to get the staff we need. Obviously a strike would be disruptive and we need to keep out schools open. Families depend on keeping them open, making sure the kids are safe," said school district spokesman John Sasaki.

The teachers are seeking a 12 percent pay increase over three years, plus smaller class sizes and more support in the classroom.

The district has offered five percent. No negotiations have been scheduled.

The district is facing a $21 million deficit.

Parents may soon have to decide what to do with their kids if there is a strike. They can keep them home, send them to school with a temporary teacher, or somewhere else.

"There are safety issues. Each parent will have to make individual decisions. But having someone in the classroom who isn't familiar with the kids could be high risk for families. But some families may not have a choice," said Lakisha Young a parent and school advocate.

The two sides are waiting for a report  a three-person fact-finding panel is expected to release Friday.

The panel has been looking into the district's finances.