San Francisco voters will decide who will serve on the city’s scandal-plagued school board.

After a year of turmoil that drew global attention, voters will decide whether or not to recall three members of San Francisco’s scandal-plagued school board on Tuesday.

For many parents, the special municipal election on Tuesday represents a vote on the city’s school board’s handling of the pandemic.

The recall movement arose from parents’ dissatisfaction with the board, who believe it spent too much time on topics unrelated to the coronavirus rather than focused on reopening San Francisco public schools. From March 2020 to August 2021, the majority of the city’s 115 schools, which serve 50,000 students, were shuttered for more than a year, even while adjacent districts reopened classrooms and private schools around the city.

Mayor London Breed endorsed the recall attempt, saying, “Unfortunately, our school board’s goals have often been horribly misguided.” “Parents at San Francisco’s public schools aren’t just expressing regular, everyday grievances.”

While distant learning was a national issue, the school board in San Francisco was plagued by self-inflicted conflicts.

The board received national attention for a plan to rename 44 schools as part of a racial reckoning that some claimed went too far. It was chastised for historical inaccuracies and for being an unwelcome distraction during a period when schools were closed and pupils struggled with online learning. The plan was eventually abandoned.

Following the renaming fiasco, the board was hit with a slew of lawsuits, including one from the city of San Francisco, which went so far as to sue both the school district and the board to force them to reopen schools sooner.

Organizers claim that if they could, they would recall all seven board members, but only three have served long enough to be challenged: Board President Gabriela Lopez and two commissioners, Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga.

Collins was chastised for allegedly anti-Asian remarks he made on Twitter. The tweets suggested Asian Americans utilized “white supremacist” mentality to get ahead and were racist toward Black pupils. They were sent in 2016, before she was elected to office.

Her vice president title was revoked as a result of their appearance. Collins apologized for the comments, saying they were misinterpreted. She refused to quit in the face of requests for her to do so.

The board’s efforts to restrict merit-based admissions at the renowned Lowell High School, where Asian students make up the majority, had already enraged many Asian parents.

As a result, many Asian Americans have been driven to vote in municipal elections for the first time. The Chinese/API Voter Outreach Task Force, which was established in mid-December, claims to have registered 560 additional Asian American voters.

Breed will designate interim replacements for any of the three board members if they are recalled.

Critics argue that the recall attempt is a waste of time and money, given that the district is dealing with a $125 million budget deficit and the need to replace retiring Superintendent Vincent Matthews.


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