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San Francisco Voters Succeed in Ousting Three Progressive School Board Members

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

In a recall election on Tuesday, San Francisco parents successfully ousted three progressive members of the Board of Education.

“It’s the people rising up in revolt in San Francisco and saying it’s unacceptable to abandon your responsibility to educate our children,” said Siva Raj, a San Francisco public school parent who played a prominent role in getting the recall off the ground, The New York Times reports. 


According to the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 70 percent of voters supported each of the three members' recall.

Among the Board’s more controversial moves during the pandemic was its focus on renaming 44 schools to be more politically correct rather than attempting to open them for in-person learning. That effort was eventually paused over significant blowback, including from Mayor London Breed.

Other factors played a role in the recall as well.

It also appeared to be a demonstration of Asian American electoral power, a galvanizing moment for Chinese voters in particular who turned out in unusually large numbers for the election.

In echoes of debates in other cities, many Chinese voters were incensed when the school board introduced a lottery admission system for Lowell High School, the district’s most prestigious institution, abolishing requirements primarily based on grades and test scores. A judge last year ruled that the board had violated procedures in making the change. […]

Criticism of the board grew stronger, while signature gathering for the recall effort was already underway, when controversial tweets written by Ms. Collins, the board’s vice president, were discovered. In them, she said Asian Americans were like slaves who benefited from working inside a slave owner’s house — a comparison that Asian American groups and many city leaders called racist. (NYT)


Breed will now choose new members to replace Collins, López, and Moliga. 

“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,” the mayor said in a statement.

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