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San Francisco school board members voted out after prioritizing leftist ideas

February 17, 2022 9:59pm

Updated: February 18, 2022 9:44am

Three San Francisco school board members were recalled by an overwhelming majority of voters on Tuesday who questioned their priorities during pandemic lockdowns.

School Board President Gabriela Lopez, along with commissioners Faauuga Moliga and Alison Collins, were each recalled by more than 70 percent of ballots cast, according to final results from the San Francisco Department of Elections.

“This is a political earthquake,” Autumn Looijen, one of the organizers of the recall, told the Wall Street Journal. “San Francisco is standing up to fight for its children and for good governance.”

“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,” mayor London Breed, one of the high-profile Democrats to endorse the recall, said in a statement.

The four other members of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, which teaches 57,000 students, had not been in office long enough to be eligible for a recall.

Organizers of the recall began mobilizing in response to how the school board dragged its feet on reopening schools, even as state and county guidelines approved a transition back to in-person learning.

Parents were further angered by how the school board seemed more focused on progressive and racial-justice pet projects, such as an attempt to rename 44 schools, including ones named after George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and current Democratic senator and former San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein.

"The kids had only about six weeks of instruction before summer break and so that is a huge loss for kids who are coming from difficult socio-economic situations," Jennie Lucas, a San Francisco parent, told The Associated Press.

The district also moved to end merit-based admissions at the elite Lowell High School, angering the city’s Asian-Americans, who hold a majority there.

A bipartisan coalition, including parents, local activists and charter school groups, managed to gather 70,000 signatures to petition a recall of the three eligible school board members. Opponents attempted to cast the election as a Republican takeover of local politics.

Mayor Breed will be responsible for appointing replacements for the three commissioners, who may run for re-election in the November midterms.