Oakland teachers need help in virtual classroom

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Teachers in one East Bay School District say they could use a hand from substitute teachers with distance learning.

A spokesperson for the teachers union says the problem is the district is not fulfilling an agreement to make it happen.

“It’s an equity issue for our kids.”

The union that represents Oakland teachers say they want the district to use specialized substitute teachers as a resource to help with distance learning.

“It needs to get done. It really is about what is right for our students.”

Oakland education association spokesperson Chaz Garcia describes the daily challenges teachers face trying to meet the different needs of students in a virtual classroom.

“When you’re in a Zoom room, it’s not conducive to leave the other students by themselves.”

She says not only can the district use substitute teachers to help, $2 million dollar budget for specialized subs-support has already been negotiated, budgeted, and approved.

The school district views the situation differently. OUSD sent KRON4 a statement that reads in part:

“OUSD has substitutes on special assignment, who are working in the virtual classroom on a regular basis. We have been meeting every other week with the OEA substitute caucus, collectively problem-solving when issues arise. Overall, the substitute program has been working quite well, and we deeply appreciate all the hard work each one of them has been putting in to support our students.”

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