Oakland teachers could reach partial agreement with district on in-person learning

Oakland teachers say a partial agreement with the Oakland Unified School District could come soon for some in-person learning, but only for certain students

Chaz Garcia, the chief negotiator for Oakland teachers, says the proposal involves students who are struggling with distance learning, whether they are a pre-kindergartner or high school student.

But those student's teachers would come to class voluntarily, "For families that chose to opt-in that are high needs, and educators who choose opt-in, to do some small cohort instruction. That's the proposal we have been working on with the district," says Garcia.

Garcia expects that phase to begin before the end of March.

It is unclear how many students that would affect.

As for the rest of the students who are not struggling, but who wish to return to class. That must still be negotiated.

"Whatever our agreement is after this will have to include obviously resources for students who remain at home," Garcia says.

A recent survey of elementary school families by the Oakland Unified School District found 42% preferred to keep distance learning. While 58% said they were ready for schools to re-open.

These students were learning remotely Friday as part of a protest by families anxious for in-person instruction.

"It's too long. My kids are suffering from being depressed, anxious, and overall feeling hopeless about the place they live," says Allison Stockman, a mother of three students.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also voiced her frustration Friday with the slow pace of getting schools opened.

'They need to get this deal done. And I for one feel these schools have absolutely got to be opened as soon as possible," said Schaaf.

Governor Gavin Newsom is offering financial incentives for districts that reopen for special needs students by April 1.