Oakland teachers to vote on tentative agreement for in-person learning this week

Oakland schools could open for in-person learning for some students in about two weeks if teachers approve a tentative deal struck over the weekend.

Under the proposal, students in grades pre-kindergarten through second grade would reopen on March 30.

"It's huge for my kids. They've been out of the classroom for 367 days," says Megan Bacigalupi, a mother of a kindergartner and a second-grader.

Teachers must still vote on the proposal.

It would also allow for students in grades 3-5  along with students with high needs to return on April 19th.

Students would come to school twice a week, with distance learning the other three days.

"We think we have a really good plan in place to keep everyone safe," says school board president Shanthi Gonzales.

"It addresses the safety concerns students, families, and teachers have. And it provides learning opportunities in person," says chief Oakland teachers union negotiator Chaz Garcia.

But some teachers say they don't feel safe going back. Going back to class is voluntary.

"This virus continues to spread. We are endangering the lives of students, the community, and teachers," says special education teacher Mark Airgood.

The proposal also calls for the opening of one yet-to-be-determined upper grade on April 19.

But some parents are disappointed the proposal leaves out most middle and high school students.

"I'm really not going to stop calling and demonstrating and being there for families until we get all kids back," says parent Allison Stockman. 

"Just getting teachers and students back, knowing it is safe, will also telegraph for the fall we should be returning for five full days," says Bacigalupi

Teachers are scheduled to vote on the proposal from Wednesday to Saturday.