Here’s a brief recap of some of OCO’s education-related success stories

“For us, this vision has never been only for our children, but rather for all of Oakland’s children and families. Our team is diverse, representing various geographic areas and racial, cultural and linguistic communities, but we are one family. We are committed to being part of a movement to ensure that every student in Oakland graduates prepared for success in college, career and community success. “—Luz Alcaraz, CUES parent leader and OCO Executive Board member

AVOIDING DEEP BUDGET CUTS: At the Oakland Unified School District’s Jan. 11, 2017 board meeting, District leaders presented a budget proposal that included $10 million in cuts to school site budgets, $10.5 million to central office and $1.1 million district-wide. OCO leaders organized with allies from across the City, and the District dramatically shifted their position. Two weeks later, the OUSD Board unanimously approved a resolution that protects school-level budgets from any cuts in 2017–18 and directs $8.5 million in cuts to be made from central office. OCO Board member Sam Davis shares this perspective: “We know we still have a lot of work in front of us to ensure that the Board passes a final budget in June that puts students and school communities first, but this was a critical step in the process.”

OAKLAND HAS SOL: At its Dec. 14, 2016 meeting, the OUSD board approved the opening this fall of Oakland SOL (School of Language), to be located on the former campus of Rudsdale Continuation School on 70th Ave. OCO leaders and organizers from CUES (Community Unified Elementary School), ICS (International Community School), and Manzanita SEED worked three years convincing OUSD to green light the new, multicultural dual language middle school. This is the first new in-district school OUSD has approved in 10 years. It aims to embrace diversity in East Oakland’s public schools and neighborhoods.

SANCTUARY DISTRICT: OCO leaders and organizers worked closely with the Oakland Education Association, Parent and Student allied organizations, and OUSD Board Directors Shanthi Gonzales and Rosie Torres to draft and pass (also at the Dec. 14, 2016 meeting) a strong resolution that reaffirms OUSD as a Sanctuary District.  —Katy Nuñez-Adler, Angie Noel

To learn more or join OCO Education for Liberation Committee meetings on the 3rd Thursdays of the month from 6 pm – 8 pm at the OCO Office, 7200 Bancroft Avenue, #2 Eastmont Mall, Oakland, 94605 contact Katy Núñez-Adler at katy@oaklandcommunity.org or Sayuri Sakamoto at psyudi3@gmail.com.