Welcome to my special newsletter about ways to change the school board and how to get involved. This is update 9.
The official school board recall petitions are ready to sign.
Download, print, sign, and mail your petition.
FYI: Anything you sign online doesn’t count. There were many online petitions asking for Alison Collins to resign. But the actual recall petition must be signed with pen on paper. The only way to recall the school board is here.
The petitions were approved just when we needed them most.
Reasons to recall
I didn’t think the school board could become any more dysfunctional than it already was. But commissioner Alison Collins took the chaos into uncharted territory. She filed an $87 million lawsuit against the school district, city government, and her fellow commissioners for censoring her after racist tweets she wrote about Asian Americans resurfaced.
Alison Collins claims she was defamed and her First Amendment rights were violated. She is seeking $87 million in damages for herself when the school district faces a $169 million budget deficit and students haven’t been in classrooms for more than a year.
A recall of Alison Collins can’t come soon enough. If you want a reminder why commissioners Gabriela Lopez and Faauuga Moliga are also listed on the recall petitions, read my recent blog post that makes the case.
They all voted against hiring a consultant to create a plan for reopening schools.
They all voted to rename schools with a flawed process before making any plans to reopen schools.
And they all voted to dismantle one of the nation’s top high schools rather than focus on reopening high schools or creating more high schools with high academic standards.
This newsletter also contains:
- Petition Instructions
- Recall Timeline
- The Full Case For Recall
- Additional Action Items
- Communication Links
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Thanks for your support,
- Download your recall petition here.
- Recall petitions must be signed by pen on paper. That’s why you need to download the petition, print it, sign it, then mail it.
- Print petition at full size or it won’t be accepted.
- Sign all three petitions. Each school board member has their own recall petition.
- Use black or blue ink only.
- Spell out “San Francisco” in the address line. Do not put “SF” because it will be rejected.
- Be sure to sign the declaration at the bottom of the petition. You are signing the petition as a resident and voter. But you are also acting as your own signature gatherer — so you must additionally sign the declaration at the bottom of the petition.
- If you are getting family members, friends, and neighbors to sign the petition, be sure you sign the declaration at the bottom as the signature gatherer.
- 70,000 signatures are needed to put the recall on the ballot. 10,000 people so far have signed up to help on the recall website. If they each get just 7 family members and friends to sign the petition, we’ll reach the 70,000 goal. Please download, print, sign and mail in the petition ASAP. The sooner we can get the recall on the ballot for a special election, the sooner we can stop the madness at the school board.
THE FULL CASE FOR RECALL
Families for San Francisco released a study that analyzed every action and inaction by the school board in the past year of distance learning to show how we ended up in the current mess.
These are the main takeaways:
- The school board did not understand the magnitude of the challenge to reopen schools.
- The school board failed to deliver a plan.
- The school board’s priorities are out of sync with what families need.
Fixing the school board is going to take four actions in the following order:
- Decreasing the Distance: This parent-led group is focused on the immediate need of safely reopening all public schools full time. Join their advocacy work. Read a profile about one of their “super mom” founders.
- Recall SF School Board: Next, we need to recall the school board members who have failed their core responsibilities in so many ways. Get your petition here. Sign up on the recall website to stay informed or volunteer. The recall effort is run by parents Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj. Read about their background in my previous newsletter and watch an inspiring profile video.
- Better SF Public Schools: After the recall, we need to structurally change how the school board is formed so we don’t end up in the same situation again. This political action committee is run by parents Patrick Wolff and Jennifer Butterfoss. They are working to amend our city’s constitution with an initiative on the June 2022 ballot that would make the school board an appointed body with certain qualifications for running schools. Read their excellent research paper that makes the case for an appointed school board.
- Friends of Lowell Foundation: If your children aspired to attend Lowell High School, join this group to restore Lowell as an academic and merit-based public high school and to boost academic preparation for all San Francisco public school students. Join here.
It’s important that we can find and share information in a central place on social media. Join these groups:
- Recall the SF School Board
- Charter Amendment Campaign seeks to change the formation of the school board from elected to appointed.
- Decreasing the Distance is a parent-run advocacy group to reopen all schools full time.
- Friends of Lowell High School
- How to Change the School Board is a citywide group for information about the recall and charter amendment efforts.
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NOTE: This newsletter and previous updates are also published as blog posts. Click to read and share on social media:
Update 9 (Recall petitions ready for signing, petition instructions)
Update 8 (Perspective on why school board reform called for in first place)
Update 7 (Q&A with Decreasing the Distance leader Meredith Dodson)
Update 6 (Charter amendment launches to appoint versus elect school board)
Update 5 (Recall helpers 7,000 and growing, recall timeline)
Update 4 (Recall launches, find out who is behind it)
Update 3 (Where is the recall? What are the options?)
Update 2 (Lowell becomes lottery, school board says gay dad not diverse enough)
Update 1 (City Attorney lawsuit)
First Edition (How do you recall the school board? Process and hurdles)
Originally published at https://www.engardio.com on April 1, 2021.