Voter guide: Meet the key players in San Francisco’s Board of Education race – Axios

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Education

Three San Francisco school board seats are up for grabs in the wake of the recall of three members of the Board of Education earlier this year. Be smart: The school board determines policies for all public schools across the city, establishing educational goals and standards, setting the district’s budget and more. The candidates: Three mayor-appointed members, Ann Hsu, Lisa Weissman-Ward and Lainie Motamedi.Karen Fleshman, a diversity and inclusion consultant Alida Fisher, advocacy chair of the SFUSD’s Community Advisory Committee for Special EducationEducator Gabriela López and former school board presidentThe intrigue: López, was recalled earlier this year, after critics argued the school board spent too much time on efforts to rename schools with problematic namesakes and changing Lowell High School to a lottery admissions system. A judge later ruled the board had violated procedures in making that change.Flashback: Hsu came under fire in July for claiming on a campaign questionnaire that it’s difficult to educate Black and Latino children because of their “unstable family environments” and “lack of parental encouragement to focus on or value learning.”Hsu explained in a public apology that she “was trying to understand and address a serious problem and seek solutions, and in so doing [she] said things that perpetuated biases already in the system.”By the numbers: Breed’s appointees are leading the fundraising race, per campaign filings.Hsu has raised the most with $62,071.López has raised the least amount of money, with just $10,844 in donations.Race and racism have been at the root of many of the issues plaguing the school board in recent years.Community civil rights organization, Chinese for Affirmative Action, hosted a debate this month with the candidates to discuss, among other topics, their thoughts on the planned changes to how elementary students are assigned to schools and how to address racial segregation in the district.The new student assignment policy, set to go into effect in the fall of 2026, is designed to place students in schools based on geographical zones.Hsu and Motamedi did not participate in the debate.What they’re saying: López referenced her past work on the Board of Education’s student assignment committee, where she oversaw the efforts SFUSD made to create more diverse school environments. But the district, she says, needs to do more to “tackle the underlying issue of people who don’t want to go to spec …

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