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CALIFORNIA – The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) says the teachers’ strike costs the district nearly $1 million a day.
This estimate is based on the number of absent students, with the savings of not paying teachers factored in, according to the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday.
The strike has had an impact on more than 36,000 students.
Only 6 percent of students have reportedly showed up to classes, according to CBS SF BayArea.
The total loss would be $5 million if estimates remain the same as teachers continue to strike for the fifth day Wednesday.
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“Our numbers show the impact that the student absences are having on the district in support of our teachers,” OUSD superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said, the Chronicle reported.
Teachers went to the picket lines Thursday to protest what they believe are unlivable salaries in a city where the median monthly rent price is a little more than $3,000 and the median housing value price is $735,000. OUSD entry-level teachers can earn around $47,000 a year, according to OUSD data.
The Oakland Educators Association (OEA), the district’s teachers union, asked for a 12 percent raise over a period of three years.
The district has kept its 8.5 percent raise over four years offer, however, according to the Chronicle.
“OUSD has well-documented financial limitations,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said, according to the Chronicle. “It’s a fact that this district has seen declining enrollment, lost money as it relates to charter schools and dealt with a structural deficit for years.”
The district has suffered financially for some time. California loaned OUSD $100 million in emergency funds after accumulating a $37 million deficit in 2003. OUSD also managed to get into a $30 million deficit during the 2017-2018 year, the Chronicle reported.
OUSD spends money on providing free dinners for students, dental clinics for children in need and laundry-related utilities for struggling families, according to CNN.
Oakland, like other Bay Area and Silicon Valley cities in California, struggles with increasing living costs due to tech companies. San Francisco is planning to create more than 100 housing units for teachers on school district owned property, according to an April 2018 news release from the city and county of San Francisco.
OEA and OUSD did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.