Oakland’s teachers strike is another sign of economic inequality in tech’s backyard

Teachers and students in Oakland protesting in April 2010.

Teachers say they can no longer afford to live in an area that has seen an economic boom fueled by the tech industry.

Thousands of public school teachers in California’s Oakland Unified School District — one of the largest school districts in the state, representing 3,000 teachers and more than 100 schools — voted to go on strike beginning this Thursday.

The move comes at a time when a wave of public school teachers across the nation — recently in Denver, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma — have gone on strike to protest stagnant wages, large class sizes, and a lack of resources.

What makes Oakland’s case unique — and raises the stakes of the issue at hand — is that it’s the first strike in the recent wave of teacher action in the San Francisco Bay Area, the backyard of tech. Oakland, along with the greater region, has seen a sustained economic boom amid growing income inequality and higher costs of living over the past several years.

Oakland’s school district has been plagued with budget woes for years before the most recent tech boom,

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