SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Voters are casting their ballots in special elections in San Francisco.
On the ballot are State Assembly for District 17, assessor-recorder and the big one is the recall of three commissioners on the school board.
On Wednesday, KRON4 spoke to the two principle proponents of the school board recall and one of the commissioners being recalled.
One of the foundational issues for the yes on recall the San Francisco school board campaign is, from their perspective, the Board of Education wasted time on other issues during the pandemic instead of focusing on reopening schools.
Siva Raj and Autumn Looijen started the recall effort.
Since the schools are open now, KRON4 asked them if ultimately that is what they want, then why go forward with the recall?
“There is a couple of reasons. One big one is learning loss. These board members don’t believe learning loss happened. If they don’t believe it happened, then they haven’t measured it and they haven’t come up with a plan to address it,” Looijen said.
“Parents from every community, black parents, Latino parents, Asian parents, you know what they are talking about? You guys have not focused on academics for our kids,” Raj said.
School Board President Gabriela Lopez and two former VP’s Faauuga Moliga and Alison Collins are commissioners being recalled. This is Alison Collins’ first television interview since the recall effort began.
KRON4 asked her to make her best case for why she should retain her seat on the San Francisco Board of Education.
“I was elected to really help the district to hold its promise to families, specifically around ensuring that each and every student has access to a safe school and that’s not just some kids but that’s all kids,” Collins said.
In addition, yes on recall advocates say that San Francisco schools are in a crisis that covers equity, budget, and leadership.
“We need to give confidence to parents in the community that we have good leadership on the school district that can actually run things well and can focus on education. Otherwise, we are not going to get those parents back. You will continue to see the spiral to where its more and more cuts as more and more families leave the district,” Raj said.
Those against the recall are concerned that there may be other motives.
“I think people need to follow the money. They need to understand that billionaires are behind this and they’re trying to dictate to San Francisco, how we do democracy in our city,” Collins said.
San Francisco Municipal Special Election, which includes the school board recall, will happen on Feb. 15.