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How Can I Organize My Charter School?

Want to organize a charter school in Oakland? OEA can be a resource for you in your organizing efforts. If you have questions about organizing your charter school in Oakland please email the OEA office at

The California Teacher's Association has been actively organizing California teachers at charter schools. Please go to the CTA Website for up-to-date information on CTA's charter school organizing efforts or email to get in touch with a CTA organizer.


Charter school educators throughout California are unionizing with CTA at an unprecedented rate.  In fact, in just the last few years, educators have unionized at the following schools so they can better advocate for their students and profession:

• Impact Academy in Hayward, CA
• Envision Academy in Oakland, CA 
• City Arts and Tech in San Francisco, CA
• IQ Academy in Los Angeles, CA
• MAAC Community Charter School in Chula Vista, CA
• Alameda Community Learning Center in Alameda, CA
• Island Union Elementary School in Lemoore, CA
• American Indian Public Charter Schools in Oakland, CA 
• East Bay Innovation Academy in Oakland, CA and 
• Luis Valdez Leadership Academy in San Jose, CA
• Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy in San Jose, CA
• River Valley Charter School in Lakeside, CA
• California Virtual Academies


Charter school educators love teaching and many strongly believe in their schools’ potential.  At the same time, there is increasing concern that recent trends in the charter school industry are limiting educator input into important decisions while contributing to high teacher turnover.  Together, these trends threaten school stability and student success. 

In recent years, many small schools have grown into larger charter management organizations with multiple campuses.  For many educators this has meant that decisions that were once made at the local school level are now made at the charter network HQ and are frequently too far removed from the classrooms.  As a result, many teachers don’t feel like they have a real voice in important policies that impact their students and their profession. 

Additionally, many dedicated charter school educators are concerned their work is becoming less sustainable.  Workload is so heavy that work/life balance is elusive.  This is compounded by high cost of living and low pay.  California is very expensive.  Part of making the profession sustainable for charter educators means being able to afford to live in the communities in which they teach. Consequently, high turnover and burn-out are becoming real problems at many charter schools. 

To address these trends, charter educators are unionizing to advocate for a stronger voice in important decisions, to support initiatives that lower teacher turnover and to build the stable school communities their students deserve.

For more information or to learn how to unionize at your charter school contact us at

updated: 11/22/17