12/29/2022 EOY and a Look Ahead

Weekly updates from SF Parents

Dear Parents and Supporters,


We thought 2021 was the Year of the Parent Advocate, but 2022 proved even more powerful. 


Parents kicked off the calendar year by mobilizing volunteer efforts in partnership with SFUSD and the business community to get PPE to teachers and students. Eighty parents signed up to apply as substitutes during the winter COVID surge and teacher shortage. Throughout the year, parents put pressure on SFUSD to fix the teacher payroll crisis, we successfully paused the superintendent search until after the school board recall election, we pressured the city to preserve funding to our Shared Schoolyards, and we got the district to commit to the necessary literacy program overhaul that was long overdue. Parents got more involved in their schools this year than ever before, with heightened interest in joining School Site Councils.


Our network grew and further diversified, now with parent representation from 110 SFUSD schools. We made our first $5,000 Educational Equity grant to Carver elementary school in the Bayview to increase literacy outcomes and improve attendance. We deepened our relationships with community organizations, and co-hosted an important documentary screening with nationally-renowned literacy experts at the SF Public Library. We began to develop a relationship with new Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne and introduced him to our parent community, with a well-attended fall meeting. We continued to lift up parents to new leadership roles, from School Site Councils to the SFUSD High School Task Force. This year we also won the National Parent Union President’s Award for our bold education advocacy work.


We continued to watchdog the Board of Education, shining a spotlight both on good, effective governance as well as exposing the moments of poor governance and political posturing. We were happy we didn’t see any rogue commissioner budget proposals like we did last year. Instead, the BOE—without fanfare—passed a balanced budget that will keep us out of state receivership, at least for now. Our parent platform has proven to be a strong positive influence keeping the performative politics out of the Board room and shenanigans to a minimum.

Finally, we helped bring $60 million to SFUSD schools over the next 15 years through our work on the Student Success Fund (Prop G). We were able to make meaningful changes to the initial language and incorporated input we received from SFUSD, community, and education leaders, and most importantly, from many of you. These changes were ultimately reflected in the final charter amendment, and the strengthened measure passed with flying colors.

Onward to an even more student-centered 2023

We’ve been saying this for two years now, but parents are only just getting started. And we’re so thrilled you’re still with us. 


Now that the Board is behaving and following effective governance principles, we hope to see student-centered policies passed and sensible plans easily moved forward by the Superintendent and his team. (Remember the micromanaging days? We’re glad those are long gone.) 


In 2023, SF Parent Coalition will be keeping an eye out for progress from the district on following through with their literacy promises, and for them to be more communicative about what decisions lie ahead to fix our structural deficit.


We expect to see a solid plan coming out of the High School Task Force for improving opportunities across all of our district’s high schools. [Side note: We’re still summarizing your High School survey input; thank you and stay tuned!] And, we know many parents care deeply about improving early and middle school math instruction at SFUSD; we are starting to gather a parent research team to understand more about what SFUSD does well (and what could be improved) with regard to all things math.

On the immediate horizon

We expect to see a calm, boring January Board of Education meeting, focused on student outcomes and the beginning of VVGG (Vision, Values, Goals, and Guardrails) implementation. We expect an update on the teacher payroll fiasco, and at some point we hope to hear a report on how we might recoup some of the $10M costly fix back to our students and schools. Finally, parents, educators, and students alike have been proud of President Lam’s thoughtful leadership and we hope she’ll be supported to continue her role. She took over the remainder of Gabriela López’s second term as board president after the recall, and in less than a year she has begun to usher in a new era of good governance. The board determines leadership roles at their January meeting, and we hope to see President Lam elected to her first full term.


We hope you’ll join us for our January monthly meeting on the 26th at 12pm with special guest, Dawn Kamalanathan, Head of Facilities at SFUSD. Please RSVP here and stay tuned for additional SF Parent Coalition happenings coming up in 2023.


Thank you to our incredible grassroots parent network and all of our supporters who join us in uplifting parent voice. We would not have had such an impactful year without all of you! Happy new year.


In community,

Meredith Dodson

Executive Director

SF Parent Coalition

P.S. As the executive director and co-founder of SF Parent Coalition, I believe so strongly in the power of our parent network and our supporters. I am so grateful for all you do to make SF Parent Coalition thrive!


I ask you to take a moment this holiday season to remember why you support our organization and grassroots parent advocacy. Please consider giving today to SF Parent Coalition so we can continue to work for a better future of the education of San Francisco’s children.


We are a small non-profit and depend on donations to:

  • Grow our capacity to further advance parent priorities
  • Mobilize and advocate for SFUSD policies that will improve the quality of education for our 50,000 students
  • Host events to bring families together and promote parent advocacy

Will you help us continue to invest in lifting up parent voice?

P.P.S. Registered Democrats in San Francisco will be electing Assembly Delegates to the California Democratic Party in January. These delegates will help set priorities for the Democratic Party for the 2024 election. Request your mail-in ballot here by Saturday, December 31st. 

SF Parent Coalition is a 501(c)3 organization of 5,000+ parents and supporters advocating for excellent, equitable education for San Francisco’s 50,000 public school students.


Join as a member, volunteer, or donate to support our work! 


SF Parent Action is our affiliate organization that empowers public school parents in San Francisco to advocate for policy change and local candidates who support public school families and students. (www.sfparentaction.org)  


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