Three San Francisco school board members who backed a controversial plan to rename 44 schools lost a recall election Tuesday in a landslide, underscoring a divide within the Left on a number of issues, including American history and school closures.
San Francisco citizens voted to recall San Francisco Unified School District Commissioner Alison Collins, board President Gabriela Lopez and board Vice President Faauuga Moliga. The pro-recall side tallied more than 70 percent in each election.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed will choose replacements, who will then face another election in November, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Breed – who has been critical of the board – supported the recall.
Supporters of the recall identified several issues of concern.
Last year, with schools closed, the board approved a much-criticized plan to rename 44 school sites, including ones named after Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt and Thomas Edison. The board listed a number of reasons behind the actions: Native Americans lost land due to Lincoln; Washington owned slaves; Roosevelt supported Japanese-American internment camps; Edison electrocuted animals.
After pushback, the board rescinded the action. Breed was highly critical of the plan.
“Our school board wasted time renaming schools instead of reopening them,” the pro-recall group Recall SF School Board said on its website.
The pro-recall group also criticized the board’s decision to keep schools closed during the 2020-21 school year.
“We were the last big city to reopen,” the group’s website said. “Our most disadvantaged kids fell farthest behind. Our board has not acknowledged the 1.5 years of learning loss, let alone come up with plans to address it.”
Breed applauded voters for recalling the board members, saying children “have suffered tremendously during the 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. “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. I want to recognize all the parents who tirelessly organized and advocated in the last year. Elections can be difficult, but these parents were fighting for what matters most – their children. The days ahead for our public schools will not be easy.”
Photo courtesy: ©Maarten van den Heuvel/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.