letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Keep the Recently Appointed Board of Ed. Members


Last winter, SF voters recalled three members of the Board of Education by more than 70%. We recognized how important it is for our schools to be run by administrators who focus on students instead of politics. We set our schools on the right track to balance the budget and teach kids to read. This fall, we need to KEEP schools on track and prevent sliding back into a jumble of performative politics and lawsuits. We need to vote to keep Ann Hsu, Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward on the Board.

These three Commissioners were appointed last spring to take the place of the recalled commissioners, who made irresponsible decisions. The recalled commissioners were unable to account for millions of dollars raised from a school modernization bond. They let schools like Buena Vista Horace Mann continue to deteriorate, with electrical issues and a rat infestation. They let the budget deficit grow to more than $100 million, resulting in teacher layoffs and risking state takeover. We are still unable to pay teachers correctly because of the mismanagement in rolling out a new and expensive payroll system. 

The former board also kept students out of classrooms. San Francisco was the only major city to keep middle and high schoolers out of school buildings for the 2021-2022 school year during the pandemic. We now see how school closures worsened mental health and educational outcomes. The learning gap for minority and disadvantaged students widened and we’re faced with a growing crisis about educating our kids. 

And now the former School Board president, who was recalled by 72% of voters, is running again. We should not give her the chance to do more damage. Two other School Board candidates say they would make the same choices as the recalled commissioners. We should not let them. We must fix the problems that the former Board caused, not double down on them.

We need to focus on student outcomes. We need financially sound decisions. We need a Board that acts in students’ best interests. We need to elect Ann Hsu, Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward to KEEP the school leadership our kids deserve.

Lee Work and Kira Gaber

3 replies »

  1. Thanks for this , I agree, Lisa , Lainie, and Ann should be elected, to be able to continue to undo the damage caused by Gabriella Lopez and her ilk. Lopez has proved to be shallow and self serving, we need school board members who truly want to do right by SFUSD!


  2. Minor correction needed: “San Francisco was the only major city to keep middle and high schoolers out of school buildings for the [entire 2020-2021] school year during the pandemic.”


  3. In you campaign to recall school board members I don’t ever remember your organization making an argument regarding the school modernization bond nor do I recall you ever once coming to the defence of Buena Vista Horace Mann. That was all us. We did that. Now I see you throwing our name around as if it ever mattered to you. As if that were one of your causes. You speak as if we are a monolith of parents who want or need the same thing. As if you have ever represented the needs of our mostly Latinx population. The three board member you recalled were all people of color, replaced by appointment of Mayor London Breed, one of whom has since spoken disparagingly about Black parents not valuing education. Why did you force the city to run a recall at the cost of millions when you could have just waited until reelection which was only months away? Why did you fund your campaign with money from tech outsiders? And now you want to undermine the democratic process again and ask that these people remain on the board? Hell no! Let them run their elections during an even year election and if the people of San Francisco elect them, they can keep their seats. In the meantime keep the name of our school out of your mouth.


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