Berkeley Unified could become 1st school district in US to offer cash reparations to students

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Berkeley USD could become 1st district to offer cash reparations
The plan for BUSD to offer cash reparations is in its very early stages and the district needs to figure out how to pay, structure, and implement it.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- There are new developments in the growing movement to provide reparations for people with enslaved ancestors.

The Berkeley Unified School District could become the first school district in the country to offer the cash payments.

This plan is still in its very early stages and before it moves forward, the district needs to figure out two things.

One, how to pay for it and two, how to structure and implement it.

That's why the district has developed a new 15 to 20 person BUSD Reparations Task Force to help answer those questions and explore reparations for Black descendants of enslaved people.

VIDEO: CA Reparations Task force focuses on key issues over possible compensation

California Reparations Task Force met in Oakland to discuss areas of harm for descendants of enslaved Black people that should be compensated.

This comes after generations of over-policing, disproportionate incarceration and housing discrimination against Black Californians.

If Berkeley Unified succeeds, it will be the first program to do so in this country.

The U.S. has already granted reparations to Japanese-Americans and Holocaust survivors.

While it's not clear how much money students in Berkeley could receive if this moves forward, the state of California also has their own reparations task force at work, looking into the same thing and so does the city of San Francisco.

The city's advisory committee most recently recommended $5 million payouts for people that qualify.

Economists have told a state panel that possible reparations could cost California more than $800 billion.

BUSD is still looking for community members and at least one student to serve on their reparations task force.

They are holding their first informational meeting about this virtually on Thursday night at 6 p.m.

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