Even the Democrat-led city government of San Francisco had enough with the board. It filed a lawsuit against both the SFUSD and its board in February 2021, accusing them of ” failing to come up with a reopening plan even as numerous other schools across the U.S. have reopened.” But SFUSD reopened only elementary schools last April and didn’t return to full-time in-person learning for all K-12 until fall 2021.
Board President López claimed the long delays didn’t cause any learning loss because children were “just having different learning experiences than the ones we currently measure,” and they learned more “about their families and cultures by staying home.” Her tone-deaf comments angered many parents, who have witnessed their kids’ academic and emotional struggles at home due to the school closures.
The school district has experienced such a sharp decline in student enrollment during its long closure that it had to implement a steep cut this school year to fill a budget hole of $125 million.
Social Justice at the Expense of Education
Second, the school board focused on leftist politics rather than education. In 2019, the board voted to cover a mural depicting slavery and Native Americans at George Washington High School, a decision that would cost taxpayers between $600,000 to $1 million. Fortunately, the mural will stay after a San Francisco Superior Court judge overturned the school board’s decision last year.
In January 2021, rather than focusing on reopening schools, the board voted to rename 44 schools, including Abraham Lincoln and George Washington High Schools. Even Democrat Mayor London Breed expressed her disbelief in a statement, saying, “I can’t understand why the school board is advancing a plan to rename all these schools when there isn’t a plan to have kids back in those physical schools.”