Blatant power play. S.F. Mayor wants to control school board singing siren song*

Lee Heidhues 12.13.2021

*siren song

  1. used in reference to the appeal of something that is alluring but also potentially harmful or dangerous.

Mayor London Breed is in a very calculated way singing a siren song to take control of the public schools under the mantra of good government.  

This is the same Mayor Breed who is enthusiactically supporting the February 2022 recall of three elected School Board members.

Some “progressive” San Francisco voters are aligning themselves with disgruntled parents who want to give up their right to elect a School Board and give it all to the Mayor who would appoint the new commissioners should the Recall succeed.  

London Breed must be loving every moment of this calculated move as she tries to collect all the chips in San Francisco style political poker.

Time for a history lesson. Or Back to the Future.

Prior to 1972 the School Board was appointed by the Mayor. Local citizens did not like that way of doing business because it took away their voice in selecting the School Board. At the time allegedly “progressive” San Francisco was upset about “busing” students away from their neighborhood schools to achieve racial balance.

So, the easy fix was to change the system to an elected a School Board and then harass these newly elected officials to roll back “busing”.

Excertped from San Francisco Chronicle 12.13.2021

Mayor London Breed is pushing an ambitious school board oversight plan that threatens to withhold city funding from classrooms if Board of Education members don’t change their behavior.

Mayor Breed III 12.13.2021
The Mayor meets with future voters

San Francisco classrooms, under a proposed change to city law, could lose millions in city funding each year if school board members continue to micromanage, treat others poorly or persist in chasing short-term political wins, its backers say.

School board Vice President Faauuga Moliga, whom Breed initially appointed to the position to fill a vacancy, panned the idea.

Breed supports the recall of all three board members.

Mayor Breed VI 12.13.2021.jpg
Gabriela Lopez, Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga were sworn in to the Board of Education on Jan. 7, 2019. (Ida Mojadad/S.F. Examiner)

Breed announced the unprecedented and unusual oversight plan Monday, which would require majority support of the supervisors and then the approval of voters in June.

The Children’s First Initiative would also restructure city government by creating a new Children’s Agency, which would oversee two existing children-related city departments. The agency would be on par with the powerful Public Utilities Commission and the Municipal Transportation Agency.

“This is about good government and accountability,” Breed said at an afternoon news conference. “It’s about ensuring that the city dollars are being spent wisely. Part of that is making sure we’re grading ourselves … and right now, we’re failing.”

The measure signals Breed wants to keep a focus on children and keeping families in San Francisco, one of her signature issues, while also taking on a controversial school board facing a $125 million deficit and a recall of three members. The mayor frequently criticized the board during the pandemic for failing to reopen classrooms while focusing on renaming schools and other policies that critics considered political or symbolic.

Top photo – Mayor Breed with Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax 11.30.2021