Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Students Organizing in Oakland for better schools and a just society!

Hot off their 'wins' with their campaign against deportations and other work Oakland's youth organizing group AYPAL is busy organizing for better school conditions in Oakland schools along with their allies Youth Together. Please join them on Saturday March 11th in Oakland!

Get Hyphee For Education:
I Gotta Testify, My School Needs Some New Supplies!!

A Community Fair
Presented by AYPAL in unity with Youth Together

Saturday, March 11, 2006
Time: 11:00AM-3:00PM
Location: Fruitvale Transit Village (34th and International Blvd.)

***Live Performances and Music by***
* Kiwi and DJ Phatrick
* Brown
Buffalo Project
* Chino Flaco and Young Tey
* Airstep Breakin’
…and more!
Tell'em What You Want What You Really Want:
AYPAL's Campaign Demands:
§ Fully Funded Schools
§ Equitable Resources across School Sites
§ Full compliance with the William's Case Settlement

Background on Williams VS. California
Williams vs.. California was a class--action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of public school children denied basic educational necessities.
Filed on May 17, 2000, on behalf of Eliezer Williams, a middle school stud ent in San Francisco, and thousands of public school children.
Challenged the State's failure to provide all Californi a students with basic educational necessities.
Claimed that the state is Violating the California Constitution by failing to ensure the plaintiffs are receiving basic educational necessities enjoyed by most children across the State.
The lawsuit focused on: Inadequate learning facilities, lack of textbooks and instructional materials, lack of access to qualified the teachers.
After over four years of litig! ation, the State (under the leadership of Governor Schwarzenegger) agreed to the settle the lawsuit on August 13, 2004
Last year, the California Legislature and the Governor passed laws to implement the settlement.
State agencies have also issued new regulations to comply with the term of settlement.
Williams Settlement provides up to $1 billion
P $800 million for emergency facilities repairs for the years 2004-2008: API Deciles 1-3
P $138.7 million for textbooks for the lowest performing schools: API Deciles 1-2
P $50 million to implement the settlement in 2004-05, including $25 million for a first time, statewide facilities inventory of the lowest performing schools
P Continue the High Priority Schools Grant Program maintaining $200 million a year
P Make it easier for credentialed teachers from other states to gain a California credential

What can I file a Williams complaint about?
Complaints can address instructional materials, teachers, and school facilities. Some examples:
P You are missing textbooks to use in class or at home, or your textbooks or ! materials are unusable due to damage.
P You are in grades 9-12 and your science lab does not have working equipment.
P You have a long-term substitute teacher from the start of the year.
Your teacher is not trained in his or her subject or is not trained to teach English Language Learners, even though ELL students make up 20% or more of the students in your classroom.
Your school facilities are hazardous, have rats or roaches, or need emergency repair.
More info: Tiffany Eng AYPAL Site Coordinator and OASES Program
Director, Oakland Asian Students Educational Services (OASES)
196 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Tel. (510) 891-9928 x16

For more see John Fong's summary of AYPAL's immigrant rights/anti-deportation campaign -
One Love, One Nation, Stop Deportation
AYPAL and DataCenter document devastating impact of deportations on immigrant families
by John FongAsian/Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership

Over 400 people showed up to a rally at the Oakland, California Federal Building on March 22, 2004 to call on Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland/Berkeley) to take a lead role in sponsoring legislation to stop deportations that are devastating hundreds of thousands of immigrant families every year.
The rally also featured the release of the report Justice Detained, produced by the DataCenter and Asian/Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership (AYPAL) to document the hardships that the deportations cause. (download report)
The report release and community rally followed an 18-month, One Love, One Nation, Stop Deportation campaign organized by AYPAL, an Oakland-based, 300-member youth organization seeking to change the relationship of power between young people and policy makers.
The campaign aims to reform and repeal the harshest elements of the 1996 Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which mandates the detention and deportation of non-citizens convicted of crimes with sentences of one year or more of jail and/or probation combined. ...
As in all AYPAL campaigns, high school age youth have made all strategic decisions and done all the work for the Stop Deportation campaign, including working with the DataCenter's Youth Strategy Project to do research. Realizing that in order to move Congress, they would have to appeal to a much larger community base than in their previous, mostly local, campaigns, the AYPAL youth activists spent months finding families directly hurt by IIRIRA deportations and willing to share their stories, and to statistically document the wide-ranging impact of the unjust legislation. ...
In May, AYPAL achieved a victory when Barbara Lee agreed to co-sponsor legislation that addresses almost all the group's demands. The Keeping Families Together Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego), would repeal IIRIRA's loose definition of what counts as an "aggravated felony" and restore residency or status rights to immigrants who have been affected.
for further information contact:
John Fong, Asian/Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership (AYPAL), 310 8th Street, Suite 201Oakland, CA 94607, tel: 510-869-6062, fax: 510-268-0202.
to check out the Justice Detained report by AYPAL - click here
other articles regarding AYPAL advocacy and organizing -
International Solidarity and Peace with Korea
Mapping the impact of deportations
Fighting for Ethnic Studies in the High Schools
Dismantling the CA Youth Authority and youth prisons

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