Contentious post-strike board meeting in Oakland after $21.7 million in budget cuts approved

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of students from several Oakland high schools marched through downtown and right into a meeting of the school board at La Escuelita Elementary, a rare morning meeting that had been postponed twice before, one to consider $21.7 million in budget cuts.

The contentious meeting came just one day after the Oakland Education Association narrowly voted to ratify a new contract, one that gives teachers a 3 percent bonus plus an 11 percent raise over the final 3 years of the 4-year deal.

RELATED: Oakland teachers approve new contract ending 7-day strike

"I just want to make it really clear," said Oakland School Board member Jody London. "We must make these reductions if we're to give the raise."

About half of the $21.7 million in cuts will come at the central office. The remainder includes reductions to libraries, services to Asian Pacific Islanders, Foster Youth and the restorative justice program.

"We already suffer from so much trauma," said Skyline High school student Jennifer Martinez, "and it breaks our hearts."

"I don't like this for me, for district seven," said board member James Harris.

In the end, the board went ahead with the vote, approving the budget cuts, much to the dismay of dozens of angry students, who approached the board as they went into recess.

"How dare you run out of a meeting," yelled one crying student, "cause you know you're wrong!"

See more stories and videos related to the Oakland teacher strike.

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