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News Update

Some parents skeptical of San Francisco Unified recall effort

As three San Francisco Unified school board members face a recall election in February, some parents fear that it could mean a halt to the progress that’s been made to expand opportunities for marginalized students.

In a story published Monday, KQED spoke with Black and Latino parents who felt as though their voices have been drowned out in the recall election that has caught national attention. Recall advocates are frustrated with three of the district’s seven school board members since schools remained closed last school year despite private schools reopening. At the same time, the board took up other issues, including the renaming of schools and changing the admissions policy for Lowell High School, San Francisco’s elite public high school. City and county officials also called on board member Alison Collins to resign over what they said were anti-Asian tweets from 2016.

Collins, Faauuga Moliga, and board President Gabriela Lopez face the recall.

District surveys found that families of color were more hesitant to return to schools in the spring than white families. KQED has reported on Asian families, especially Chinese families, feeling worried about sending their children back into classrooms.

KQED also spoke with parents who praised the board’s effort to enroll more Black and Latino students at Lowell High School, as well as the creation of the district’s first Samoan dual language immersion program since Pacific Islander Moliga has served on the school board. Tongan parent Anna Mahina said seeing a fellow Pacific Islander on the school board is empowering for both students and parents “because he knows the struggles straight from the heart.”

Collins, Moliga, and Lopez told KQED that their board actions have been in response to community needs.

“There’s no way that the recall is going to close the learning loss,” said teacher and parent Cynthia Meza. “If anything, it’s going to make it that much worse.”