Parents Mount Recall Effort Aimed at San Francisco School Board Members
California Gov. Gavin Newsom isn’t the only politician facing a potential recall election. San Francisco school board members may also have to face recalls, as some district parents say the board’s unwillingness to reopen public schools and bizarre effort to rename closed school buildings has made the district a national laughing stock.
According to local reports, frustration with the board is running high:
…one group of parents has launched a recall effort of the School Board President Gabriela Lopez and board members Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga. An online petition already has more than 1,200 signatures. Dheya Ni said she is considering adding hers.
“We need to have someone who works on behalf of our children and families, because right now the right of education is being violated,” said Ni.
It has been almost one year since students started distance learning. Since then, it has taken its toll — especially on underprivileged kids and communities of color. Parents said returning to the way kids learn best should be the school boards focus, not things like renaming schools that sit empty.
The board’s temporarily suspended effort to rename idled public schools may have been the tipping point for some parents:
The issue has brought ridicule onto the city from news reports and commentators across the country. SF school board reform advocate Joel Engardio says the public is fed up.
“The process that was used was so deeply flawed and it was exposed but the school board knew about it and voted for it and stood by it,” Engardio said. “That feeds the outrage that people across the city have about the school board, especially when they spent so much time focused on the renaming and not the matter at hand which is safely reopening the schools. That’s why people are so mad.”
Recalling school board members is no easy task:
The organizers will need to collect about 70,000 signatures for each of the three board members — in the middle of a pandemic. They will have 160 days to do it once the petitions are finalized.
If enough signatures are verified, San Francisco elections officials would then schedule a special election within 100 days. At the earliest, a recall vote would occur in late November.
We’ll be watching.