The agreement also includes modest phased-in class size reductions at all schools, lower caseloads for special education teachers and counselors and a five-month halt to any potential school closures. As part of the deal, the union said, the school board will also vote on a charter school moratorium.
“As a product of the Oakland schools, I just feel so much pride that we have the opportunity to greatly improve education outcomes for our students," said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, which represents some 3,000 teachers, counselors and nurses.
At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Brown called the strike “historic” and hard fought, and said the deal marked a major win for teachers.
“Through the power of the strike, the people of Oakland have said our students are a priority,” he said. “They wanted real investments in our children.”
The district, which receives per-pupil funding from the state, said it has lost roughly $1 million for each day of the strike. It estimated that only 6 percent of all students attended school over the last seven days.
“This seven day long strike was difficult for the entire community as it threw much of the city into uncertain waters and disrupted many lives,” the district stated in a press release. “But it also showed our teachers how appreciated they are by our students, families and all of Oakland."
The agreement was reached after several days of closed-door negotiations mediated by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and state Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda.
This has been the longest teachers strike in Oakland in more than 20 years, and follows a string of other teacher walkouts across the country in the past year, including a districtwide Los Angeles strike in January that lasted six days.
For Oakland teachers, who are among the lowest paid educators in the region, with some of the highest turnover rates, the deal marks an improvement over the district's initial offer of a 5 percent increase, but still falls notably short of what teachers have been asking for.