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Letter From an SF Teacher: Don’t Recall our School Board!

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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

ON SCHOOL BOARD RECALL MEASURES A, B, and C Vote No! No! No!


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6 Comments

  1. gloria
    February 10, 2022 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    As a mother and now grandparent of SF public schools graduates and students, this letter heartens me. Along with the endorsements in the SF Bayview newspaper and the investigative reporting at 48 Hills and Mission Local, I am reminded that those of us who love our Board of Ed may not have the money, but we are the soul of San Francisco.

  2. February 10, 2022 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    Well said! Thank you Ms. M.

    I wrote about why I’m voting NO on all the recalls (I always write a voting guide for my friends). https://www.theartdontstop.com/inquiry/how-im-voting-february-2022-san-francisco-special-election

    Thank you to the Broke-Ass Stuart team for publishing this perspective for the people who don’t have over $2 Million to spend on a special election.

  3. Gloria Pinto Huerta
    February 10, 2022 at 10:20 pm — Reply

    I am so tired of white adjacent Asian people complaining about Alsion Collins comments. Asian people need to shut up and obey their white social justice overlords such as Jason Kruta. I applaud Brke Ass Stuart for saying this

  4. Rose
    February 11, 2022 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    The district’s budget also reflects an increase in funding from the state: SFUSD expects to receive $551.3 million from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California’s primary source of state education dollars. This funding in SFUSD’s unrestricted general fund is a $20 million (3.8%) increase from last year.

    So how is SFUSD dead ass broke? I know of private and charter school who get a quarter of that amount and can produce well educated kids. Subjects to help kids in the REAL world. If this teacher who had to learn the same thing, why does she need more money? Recall might be an answer to get a new school board to want to help the children, not moan about how little money they get. If you think $551.3 million isn’t enough what would be the popular rate? 3 trillion? 🤔

  5. February 12, 2022 at 11:30 pm — Reply

    Hi Rose,
    CA public education funding has been problematic for decades. (See Prop 13. ) The CA Realtors Association dumped tons of money into defeating Prop 15 recently, which could have had an enormous impact on all our state’s public schools. No surprise CA realtors donting heavily to this recall. The recall actually has a lot to do with real estate. Our district was in a budget crisis before the current board took over. Our current Central Office Staff is the largest we’ve seen in a long long time. Our district’s legal team completely outsizes that of other districts, probably because we get sued constantly for special ed violations. Our buildings and grounds have been grossly neglected for decades. Broken down, molding older buildings with serious ventilation issues. We have been through austerity and lost staff before. Additionally, during the pandemic, our schools lost over 3,000 students. We are funded based on enrollment and pupil attendance. Some families, where caregivers had well-paying jobs, did leave and enroll in private, that is true. Many left the city altogether, which was a trend we saw across many large urban cities during the global pandemic. Some families were fortunate enough to have 2nd homes in the county. Many just could not afford to stay in SF. So financial crisis became exacerbated. You seem to be suggesting that we just keep asking and asking for money? The school district “expects” to see an influx of money, but 1/2 of my staff received lay-off notices. My child’s school as well. There is a serious effort to break public schools and then have private charters be the only option in some neighborhoods. Ironically, privatization is something privatizers refer to as “school choice” except there will be no meaningful choice. It is happening in OUSD right now. Vince Matthews left that district in shambles financially as well. The wealthiest city in the nation should not have such trouble funding its schools. Resources, not recalls.

  6. Rose
    February 15, 2022 at 11:38 pm — Reply

    Ms/Mr. Non binary Gloria;
    Proposition 13 (officially named the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation) is an amendment of the Constitution of California enacted during 1978, by means of the initiative process. The initiative was approved by California voters on June 6, 1978. It was upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Nordlinger v. Hahn, 505 U.S. 1 (1992). Proposition 13 is embodied in Article XIII A of the Constitution of the State of California.
    I wonder how you think raising property taxes would help kids when schools do not have to teach kids how to read/write/know basic math.
    In 2017 Nine out of 10 black students at the school had failed reading and math exams.
    Across the district, 19 percent of them passed the state test in reading, compared to 31 percent of black students statewide. The result: San Francisco, a progressive enclave and beacon for technological innovation, has the worst black student achievement of any county in California.
    And the school needs more money? The money ends up with bureaucrats and politicians. So you need a trillion USD?

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