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Oakland District's Deal With Teachers Includes Moratorium On Charter Schools

OAKLAND (KPIX) -- The Oakland Teacher's strike has come to an end, but not everyone is happy about it. One of the terms of the agreement was placing a moratorium on charter schools.

"Oakland as a community has a lot of issues, this issue of demonizing charter schools is unfair and it's intentional," said Myrna Castrejon, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association.

Oakland has the highest concentration of charter schools in the state. There are 44 in the city; 15,682 students are enrolled. By comparison, Oakland Unified School District is made up of 86 schools with 50,231 students enrolled.

"The unregulated growth of charter schools has drained our district budget of $57 million annually," said Keith Brown, President of Oakland Educators Association.

Brown wants to see regulation of charter schools at a statewide level.

"Privatization is destroying public education, taking needed resources away from our students so it's all connected when you look at district mismanagement and growth of charter schools," Brown said.

Charter school teachers from Roses in Concrete Community School spoke in support of the moratorium at the school board meeting Monday.

"We know there are more seats in schools in Oakland than there are students who need to be served by them," said Linda Le, who teaches there.

"If I'm seeing the benefit at the expense of my community I don't think its morally correct to not speak out on it," said Mari Andrade who also teaches at the charter school.

The Los Angeles School Board called for a moratorium on charter schools after its strike back in January.

"We need a charter cap in Sacramento, we need regulation of charter schools," Brown said.

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