Letter From an SF Teacher: Don’t Recall our School Board!
By Gloria Maciejewski
A lifelong educator with SFUSD and a district parent
Nothing has been more anxiety-provoking and stressful than experiencing the COVID19 pandemic as both a parent of two kids, and an educator who has dedicated my life to public elementary schools in SFUSD.
During school closure, I helped to distribute food to families in need. I spent countless hours on Zoom, witnessing firsthand the circumstances our families struggled with. Our school board continually advocated for health and safety measures throughout this situation. They had approved a reopening plan, and yet the union and the BOE had to struggle and spend countless hours in negotiations with the district, fighting for every single protocol that would make our schools both open AND safe.
I heard folks like those subscribing to the “Decrease the Distance” group rally around cries of “New York schools have opened, why not us?” Or lamenting about their peers who were able to have their children in private schools. Nevermind the fact that educators in NYC received vaccines a full 3 months earlier than their SF counterparts. And ignore the fact that private schools are clearly not nearly as severely Broke-Ass as SFUSD.
We have not heard enough from the voices of numerous families that felt safe and supported by our elected officials. The pandemic brought to light many issues concerning SFUSD that need to be examined, such as the sheer neglect and underfunding of our cities’ schools.
We have all been weathering this same incredible storm, but we are clearly not all in the same boat.
Though we welcomed students back to our schools in the Spring of 2021, we are faced with a hideous recall attempt, begun by two parents who moved to SF just months prior to beginning this chaos and distraction. While this recall may have begun by utilizing the leverage of parents at their wits end, it quickly morphed into an opportunistic and disaster capitalism power grab.
Make no mistake that the ultra-wealthy donors to this recall are not here to “help the kids”. This is also NOT top donor Arthur Rock’s first rodeo. A charter-school-loving venture capitalist, Rock has already thrown thousands behind upending Oakland Unified schools. Topping out at nearly $2 million dollars of funding, this special election DURING an election year, that will cost the city’s taxpayers many millions more to throw, is a straight-up sham. We absolutely must not ignore the heavy funding by billionaires, who have vested interests in the privatization of public schools. There is enormous profit to be had off the backs of our city’s children.
While this recall may be uniquely “San Franciscan”, it’s clear that recalls of school boards have proliferated and become a disturbing national trend that people of San Francisco must not welcome.
Our schools need so much more than a wasteful, power grab recalling members of the most diverse school board in the history of the city. I urge all voters to reject recalls, and the precedence this will inevitably set. A recall is a tool that should be reserved for instances of crime and corruption. It will do nothing to “fix” our precious schools. For that, we ought to look at our Central Office.
Vote No. Resources not Recalls!
– Gloria “Ms. M” Maciejewski