Sickout day called by Oakland students to show support for teachers

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A sickout day was called by students from six Oakland high schools today to show support for teachers who are threatening to strike.

Student at Oakland Tech chanted "We are Oakland, keep our schools open."

RELATED: Oakland students march in support of teachers in labor negotiations

Oakland schools were open today, but many high school students called out sick.

Some students stayed home, others marched to district headquarters.

"I don't think it was a hard decision at all to walk out because I want these teachers to get more pay and then more," expressed Alex Arriola, a student at Oakland Tech.

Oakland teachers are threatening to strike if their demands are not met. They've been without a contract since July 2017. Teachers continue to ask for higher wages and smaller class sizes.

"I support the teachers. I march to mostly just show them that we want them to get a higher pay and be able to live in the city that they teach in," said Olivia Petzoldt, a student in Oakland.

This week the superintendent revealed that the school district must find ways to reduce spending by more than 21 million dollars. This will result in layoffs and cuts to services. Both sides remain divided on how much the district can really afford to pay teachers.

RELATED: 95 percent of Oakland teachers vote to strike

"The staff is looking, they're trying to find it, they're turning every rock, looking in every crack, they're trying to find the money somewhere," explained Oakland Unified's spokesperson John Sasaki.

By having this sick day, the district will not receive ADA money, meaning attendance funding from the state. The teachers got paid, but this represents a financial hardship for the district.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the Oakland teacher strike.
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