Three progressive members of the seven-member San Francisco Unified School Board were accused of having bad priorities and have been recalled in a landslide vote on Feb. 15.
More than 70 percent of the 117,165 voters elected to recall Commissioner Alison Collins, President Gabriela López, and Vice President Faauuga Moliga, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Members of the San Francisco Board of Education (SFUSD) are elected at large to serve four-year terms. They are responsible for establishing educational goals and standards; approving curriculum; setting the district budget independently of the city’s budget; confirming the appointment of all personnel; and approving purchases of equipment, supplies, services, leases, renovation, construction, and union contracts.
Collins is a community activist, a real estate consultant, and a former educator. She served on the board from Jan. 7, 2019, until the recall.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, supported the recall, calling the board’s priorities “severely misplaced.” Even though San Francisco is often seen as one of the country’s most liberal cities, some say the recall is a big-money plot to eliminate progressives on the board.
The three board members have been under fire from establishment Democrats since early 2021 when they pursued an anti-racism proposal to rename 44 public schools. Many complained that renaming of schools was a lesser issue when there was an urgent call for schools to reopen during the covid pandemic.
“The voters of this City have delivered a clear message that the School Board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else,” Breed said in a statement. “San Francisco is a city that believes in the value of big ideas, but those ideas must be built on the foundation of a government that does the essentials well.”
Breed will name the replacements for the ousted members.
“During such a difficult time, the decisions we make for our children will have long-term impacts,” Mayor Breed wrote in a Facebook post explaining her support for the recall. “Which is why it is so important to have leadership that will tackle these challenges head-on and not get distracted by unnecessary influences or political agendas.”
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Critics of the recall said it will probably be praised by conservatives nationwide who have “made ‘parents’ rights’ a rallying cry” and have been on a right-wing political campaign “to sanitize or censor historical readings and teaching in schools across the country,” The New York Times reported.
Former San Francisco prosecutor Brooke Jenkins tweeted before the recall, “Tonight’s BOE recall election results were proof that San Franciscans are fed up with officials who are derelict in their duties.”
Tonight’s BOE recall election results were proof that San Franciscans are fed up with officials who are derelict in their duties. Next up – the DA recall. CB continues to refuse to do his job. He will answer to the voters on June 7th. #RecallChesa
— Brooke Jenkins (@BrookeJenkinsSF) February 16, 2022
Alison Collins, Photo credit: Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP