Press Release March 22, 2022

Parents are ready for a boring Board of Education. After two years of being ignored and treated with contempt, parents could not be more ready for a school board that is ready to effectively govern and focus on educating our children.

Our district is still facing multiple crises, and the new board has a lot of critical work to get done. We’re looking forward to efficient and effective meetings, board members who adhere to best governance practices, and above all else, focusing on what needs to get done so our students can thrive.

SF Parent Coalition came to be because parents weren’t respected partners during the most difficult time in our kids’ lives. We are ready and excited for Boring at the BOE! Today, we are announcing our Parent Priorities Platform. We will be evaluating our new and existing board members on these priorities, which were lifted up by our large and diverse parent network over this past year. We are excited about this new board, and we can’t wait to see them succeed.

Parent Priorities Platform

SF Parent Coalition believes that a Board of Education held accountable by a large and diverse group of parents will be responsive to the needs of children and families and focused on the Board’s core responsibilities. A Board that is responsive to the needs of students will adopt and promote policies identified as top priorities for SFUSD families. Our current priorities were identified by families during the 2021-22 school year. SF Parent Coalition hopes to see new and existing board members commit to leading in alignment with SFUSD families.

  1. Addressing the budget deficit: District leaders and the Board of Education need to make the tough budget decisions necessary to prevent a state takeover of SFUSD and prioritize children’s learning. These cuts must be student-centered and realistic.

  2. Hiring an effective superintendent: The Board should hire an effective, student-centered superintendent, who can address problematic practices in the central office and refocus all efforts around student outcomes at school sites. The Board should then act intentionally and appropriately to set up our new superintendent for success.

  3. Focusing on student outcomes: The district and individual schools should develop and implement plans to address the unfinished learning and social-emotional needs of our students after more than a year of school closures, and exhibit leadership around elevating the importance of district-wide as well as school-level student achievement monitoring and analysis.

  4. Ensuring joyful in-person learning experiences and adherence to public health guidance: Children’s school experiences should be consistent across the district, and include any and all student programming and family engagement activities that had previously been paused due to COVID-19. The District should automatically adhere to public health guidelines as they evolve, with no need to go through new approval processes each time guidance changes.

In order to achieve these priorities, the Board must commit to effective, focused governance practices, by:

  1. Prioritizing student learning and achievement as their primary focus at every meeting, focused on evidence-based practices and instruction.

  2. Setting the district’s annual budget and managing the district’s finances responsibly.

  3. Governing professionally, according to the standards set out in the Board’s official Rules and Procedures. Board members should attend relevant training sessions, and commit themselves to characteristics of an effective school board.

  4. Listening to and incorporating perspectives from the parent and caregiver community, with an emphasis on capturing voices missed by current SFUSD structures and greater transparency in general.

Ultimately, an SF Unified Board that is more responsive to the needs of children and families and more focused on the Board’s core responsibilities will be better able to support SFUSD staff to increase equity and improve outcomes for students. The Board we envision will have the tools to build the world-class public school system that enables all of our students to thrive.