current/Recent Focus Areas
We believe that advancing equity includes challenging and transforming systems that concentrate and institutionalize power in the hands (and schools) of a limited number of people. This is why we are committed to working with partners and other parents toward shifts in policy at state and local level that:
Increase resources for public education and OUSD;
Prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable kids and their families; and
Enhance accountability to our children and families from schools, leaders, politicians, etc.
We are always looking for other parents and community members to join our policy work. Participation can range from responding to action alerts, mobilizing your school community, tracking specific legislation, attending meetings, leading a campaign, and more.
We believe our existing enrollment policies help to entrench segregation and unequal access to high performing schools. We have been working to develop new approaches including researching alternatives to existing enrollment policies, participating in OUSD's enrollment equity working group and building partnerships with schools willing to explore enrollment alternatives.
Schools and Communities First
Prop 15--Schools and Communities First--is a ballot measure that will bring up to $13 Billion a year for schools and community services by requiring business and corporate interests to pay taxes on the fair market value of their property. Equity Allies has been working with a coalition of community partners to support the OUSD parent community in mobilizing at scale in support of Schools and Communities First.
Equity Allies supports the Oakland Youth Vote Coalition's efforts to allow youth 16 to 17 vote in school board elections. We worked as part of the Oakland Youth Vote Coalition to help get the measure on the Nov. 2020 Ballot and will be part of fall GOTV efforts in support of the campaign.
Past Policy Work
OUSD Budget 2018-19
We organized public forums for parents to get their questions answered by OUSD board members in 2017 and 2018, and mobilized parents to get their voices heard in response to proposed cuts in May 2018. Our current focus is on equity-centered community engagement and decisions-making in the response to the current financial crises. Get involved!
FREE 2 LEARN / AB 1840
We worked closely with parent leaders and other organizations to advocate for debt relief for Oakland and other indebted districts. This year long effort included parent mobilizations, working with legislative staff, engagement with district staff and board. This process helped us to win AB 1840 which includes $34+ million in state grant dollars to address Oakland’s structural deficit. The "strings" and rules around implementation of AB1840 remain dynamic, and we are in communication with our partner organizations to determine if/when our support for AB1840 should shift, if it all.
OUSD Board Policy 6006
When BP6006 was initially presented, we encouraged the Board to adopt changes developed by a group of community organizations that would not have stripped the district of power in providing oversight of charters. When the Board did not accept these proposed changes, we advocated that they reject BP6006.