San Francisco’s Board of Education is declining to comment Wednesday on a report that a city nonprofit is targeting its members for possible recall efforts amid continued frustration over delays in reopening its schools.
The Campaign for Better Public Schools launched by Families for San Francisco will also explore placing a charter amendment on the ballot to make board members mayoral appointees rather than being elected, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The developments come as the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) postponed Tuesday’s scheduled talks on how to safely reopen classrooms despite an ongoing lawsuit by the City Attorney’s Office, opting instead to work on renaming 44 of the city’s public schools.
“We are going to decline to comment on this story,” Board Vice President Alison Collins – issuing a statement on behalf of Board President Gabriela Lopez – told Fox News on Wednesday when asked about the Examiner report.
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Families of San Francisco, which describes itself as a “nonpartisan, nonprofit group that advocates for families and committed residents of San Francisco,” previously has spoken out in favor of reopening schools shuttered for in-person learning because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Families for San Francisco believes SFUSD should follow science and rely on expert guidance in reopening schools safely,” the group wrote Saturday on its Facebook page. “Every day our schools remain closed, equality gaps grow, mental health issues worsen, and kids suffer.” Fox News reached out to the group for comment.
In the San Francisco Examiner report, its chief strategist, Patrick Wolff, said “we’re going to explore options.”
“At a minimum, we want a better school board. There’s really a crisis of government at the moment and we certainly want to address that,” he said. “We want to see if we can use this moment and groundswell to make longer-lasting, more fundamental reform for the betterment of [public schools.]”
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City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the San Francisco Board of Education and the SFUSD earlier this month for failing to devise a plan to get San Francisco’s 54,000 public school children back in the classroom.
However, several more months will have to pass before actions can be taken to recall the city’s board members, according to the San Francisco Examiner. It reports that four of the seven members aren’t eligible for recall efforts until June at the earliest.
And the next time a charter amendment can be placed on the ballot is in June 2022, the San Francisco Examiner reported, citing a former city Board of Supervisors candidate.
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“If they want mayoral appointments, maybe they don’t want a democratic process,” Board of Education member Matt Alexander told the website earlier this month.
“People should absolutely hold public officials accountable, but that’s why we have elections,” he added. “Many families are really desperate right now – [helping them] would be a much better use of our money than trying to engage in political games.”
Fox News’ Caitin McFall contributed to this report.