Email the BOE to call for stability + Thursday January 19 Newsletter

Weekly updates from SF Parents


In our first newsletter of 2023, we shared hope for more of what we saw during the second half of 2022: a boring Board of Education. A continuation of the drama-free focus on students and improved educational outcomes. All the adults rowing the same direction, righting the ship and focusing only on the most important and most pressing issues: fixing our deficit spending, paying our teachers, school safety, math, reading, you know– learning


But instead, with a slight tip of the Board composition, 2023 is already revealing a return of the adult drama. Read on, and grab your 🍿…

Adult-centered political jockeying kicks off the year


On Tuesday January 10th, the Board of Education held its first meeting of the year, welcoming its newest commissioner, Alida Fisher. (Side note: SF Parents was pleased to invite Fisher to our December monthly meeting and were glad to hear words and her commitment to “no more fireworks like before the pandemic” and to “make the school board meetings boring again.”)


Last Tuesday was anything but boring, though. Out of the gates, President Jenny Lam was challenged for her seat, with Commissioners Boggess and Alexander looking to advance their leadership roles on the board and attempting to push her out before she’s even served a full term. (Quick history: In 2022, Lam ascended to fulfill the remainder of Lopez’s second term after the recall election). Lam spoke at the 1/10 meeting, sharing that she’s prepared to continue in the role and be elected to her first full term, ushering in more of the good governance work she’s begun. She commented: “As an Asian American woman I have been asked to step back time and time again. I’m here this evening to stand and say, ‘I’ve done the work, delivered for our district and community, and I am ready to continue.’”


SFUSD has already seen three leadership changes in the last 12 months, and we don’t need to rock the boat with a fourth. In fact, the only rationale we’ve heard for the change right now centers not around our students or schools, but rather, around adult interests: “I want more power,” and “We should all get a turn.” This is a harmful approach to Board of Education leadership changes, and one that centers on the adults rather than the students.


Parents and students need stability, and the district needs to rebuild its trust and confidence with families and the community. Parents have repeatedly expressed being sick of the BOE drama. SF Parent Coalition has been proud of the work Kevine Boggess has done on the School Board and would support his presidency after Jenny Lam’s tenure.


Furthermore, with Matt Alexander seeking vice presidency, we wonder what the process is for considering past reckless behavior when evaluating leadership qualifications, like commissioners playing chicken with the state rather than supporting the balanced budget recommended by our fiscal supervisor from the CA Department of Education. 


The final Board of Education officers vote is Tuesday January 24th at 6:30pm. Will you be attending that meeting with us? And…



Families have been asking us what else they can do to prevent this change and the uncertainty that it would bring right now. We put some of your words into an email template, for ease of sending a note to the Board of Education. Take 5 minutes now to support stability for our schools and students and send a brief email to the Board of Education.

Over 40 parents have already emailed the Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Wayne calling for leadership stability. Send yours now!


Student Outcomes Workshop

Following the leadership vote last Tuesday, the BOE entered a workshop discussion on student outcomes led by AJ Crabbil of the Council of the Great City Schools. The board discussed devoting more time to this work within their meeting schedule. It was a bit of a rocky start however, with more time devoted to arguing about the how, when and where for the discussions as opposed to making decisions and moving forward with holding an actual discussion focused on student outcomes.


Independent City Report of SFUSD Central Office Spending

The Board of Supervisors’ Youth, Young Adult, and Families Committee met last Friday 1/13 and discussed an independent analysis of SFUSD Central Office produced by the City’s Budget & Legislative Analyst’s Office. The report shows that SFUSD spends significantly more on central office staffing allocations compared with “peer” districts, while also showing that the district has more money and spends more per student than those districts. The author noted the challenges of drawing major conclusions from the report, as the analysis was an apples to orange comparison–the districts used for a comparison to SFUSD are quite different from SFUSD. The report was requested by Supervisor Hillary Ronen and Commissioner Matt Alexander. More analysis is likely necessary to understand a fuller picture of where there’s true bloat and where dollars are actually going to support student learning–whether directly or indirectly. Our state fiscal advisor, Elliot Duchon, has advised SFUSD that deeper analysis is needed to determine exactly where spending is adequate or excessive.

High Schools!

The High School Task Force has its next meeting on Thursday 1/19, and will be discussing research, policy, and practice on recruitment and access. In subsequent meetings, they will be discussion teaching and learning, student supports, and student journeys. We’re eager to hear an update soon from our SF Parent Coalition representative who serves on the task force! Every student should be able to access the instruction and opportunities they need to learn and thrive at our SFUSD high schools.


Next Board Meeting

As part of its work to improve transparency, the BOE is now posting draft agendas 12 days in advance of each Board meeting (yay!). The next meeting is on Tuesday, January 24th at 6:30pm, and the agenda includes officer elections, an update on the payroll state of emergency, and recommendations for a calendar process that supports students who wish to honor their cultural commitments. Do you care to speak to any of these items? Please attend at 555 Franklin St, or call and listen in. As always, our public comment cheat sheet can be found HERE. (Links are updated 24 hours prior).

More from us and others

  • RSVP for our next monthly meeting on January 26th at 12pm via Zoom. SF Parent Coalition is excited to kick off the year with YOU at our next monthly Zoom meeting, along with Special Guest Dawn Kamalanathan, Head of Facilities at SFUSD. We’re looking forward to hearing from her–everything from building safety, to building improvements, to the recent lead findings, and more. Please join us! 
  • Nominate an amazing teacher! 826 Valencia, a local nonprofit writing organization that supports students ages 6-18, supports teachers, too. Through their Teacher of the Month program, SFUSD teachers are nominated by someone in their community in recognition of their impact. If chosen for the award, the teacher is honored on their website, receives a packet of nomination statements, and wins a $1,500 reward. 826 is actively seeking nominations for 2022-2023 and beyond. Please nominate an extraordinary teacher (or two!) at your school.
  • Read this Budget explainer from Ed100 just in time for budget season. Brush up on your school finance / education budget knowledge and read this comprehensive Explainer on how the CA education budget works, with a particular focus on 2023-24.

SF Parent Coalition centers the needs of children and youth in San Francisco public schools by bringing together a diverse network of parents and caregivers to advocate for a thriving, equitable school system. 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. (  

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