Public Health and Educational Equity Plan for the Child Care and Educational Community during Covid-19.
This petition serves to support the entire educational community; ie, teachers, support staff, and child care of the educational community of Bay Area, California.
School Districts such as Oakland Unified School District have a historical resource inequity issue that has proven to be detrimental prior and during Covid-19. Such disparities have included, a low teacher to student ratio of 2319 teachers and 1819 supportive staff serving over 36,600 public school students. There are 4613 students with special needs and only 374 special educators. Black and Brown students still face the highest suspension rates, high school drop-out rates, and recidivism due to poverty.
The entire Oakland Unified School District population is 50,077 students with 50% speaking another language other than English, and the entire student body population faces only a 50% chance of going to college.
The school closures prior to Covid-19 placed an increased pressure to districts with the largest populations of Black, African, Brown, Asian, Asian Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities that are highly dependent on the educational system while facing child care, housing, and food access disparities. All of the children of color dependent on the school breakfast and lunch programs, faced higher rates of homelessness, and 5,800 families reported the need for childcare. This does not include the un-reported families who have children attending the OUSD system.
The OUSD has an alarming rate of only 16 health and wellness centers serving over 37,438 visits per year. With the second wave of Covid-19 cases in Alameda County; East Oakland’s Districts 5, 6, and 7, have the highest reported cases of Covid-19 in the entire county, along with the highest reported cases of childhood and adult asthma, and hospitalization rates, from other underlining illnesses, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department.
During the first lockdown, the schools did not have enough laptops for students to take home, the teachers were not trained on online schooling, and students went months before any online classes began. It is also alarming that the schools did not have any homeschool curriculum prepared for students with special needs. Parents were forced to stay home and had lost their jobs.
Families and educators deserve a solid reopening plan that will properly address the public health and educational resource disparities that have existed in the State and local child care, and TK-14 systems.
We as child care and educational advocates are calling on the following:
1) Full homeschool curriculum with proper training and resources for parents, teachers, and support staff for all students including those with special needs.
2) We support the California Teacher’s Association’s ask for teachers and all school support staff to receive proper CalOSHA certified biohazard containment and occupational health training.
3) In addition to CalOSHA training, we also encourage that the schools take sanitation and waste management into consideration.
4) We ask for supplemental income for a parent who is homeschooling online. The online homeschooling must accommodate for a minimum of four hours per day and include the full STEAM curriculum with physical education. For parents with special needs children, the supplemental income would need to include additional funds similar to IHSS.
5) We encourage your support for universal child care through the 2020 Alameda County Measure C Initiative to leverage the current costs for child care. The current cost for quality child care is $3600 per month.
6) We support an expansion of school spaces, not closures, in order for proper ppe, medical, and public health precautions to be put into place. This would include rooms for onsite nurses for proper social distancing.
7) We encourage the continuation of the onsite food programs via federal SNAP and the Alameda County Food Bank, to continue providing the free lunch program for all students who need it, and who continue to pick up food onsite.
8) We understand that the items listed in this petition serve as a plan for the federal, state, and local governments, to continue providing an education to our students, while keeping our teacher’s and supportive staff employed and safe, while providing additional avenues for families to seek supplemental income as para-educators; during this global pandemic.
We ask that you please take the time to show your support for these items by signing the petition.
Signatures Thus Far:
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