School Board Recall Effort Seeks Applicants for SF Mayor's Consideration

Organizers behind the effort to recall three members of the San Francisco Board of Education (SFBOE) are inviting members of the public interested in joining the board to apply for the opening seats as Mayor London Breed decides who she will appoint.

Earlier this month, a majority of San Francisco voters cast their ballots in favor of recalling the three SFBOE members. In comments delivered the day after the February 15 vote, Breed said the voters "sent a clear message" about their frustrations with the board and the decisions it has made regarding how schools have operated during the coronavirus pandemic. That issue has been reflected in deliberations between education leaders and parents across the country.

With the three SFBOE members targeted by this month's recall expected to vacate their seats by early or mid-March, Breed said she is working on finding candidates for their positions. Her office said in a February 16 news release that Breed has spoken with parents across the city in an effort to understand their priorities for the SFBOE.

The mayor's office also said Breed has not discussed potential replacements or conducted candidate interviews as of mid-February but plans to do so in the weeks ahead as the results of the recall election are made official.

San Francisco school board recall replacements
Organizers behind the effort to recall three members of San Francisco's Board of Education are encouraging those interested in filling the empty seats to submit their applications. Above, dividers are set up on tables in a classroom at San Francisco's Bryant Elementary School on April 9, 2021. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"Moving forward, the School Board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else," Breed said in the release. "My focus in the coming weeks is to identify individuals for these seats that can tackle the many immediate decisions the District faces right now, as well as structural issues the District has faced for years."

Breed added that San Francisco is entering a time "for everyone to do the hard work of supporting our students and educators" as the city begins emerging from the worst periods of the pandemic.

Those behind the recall effort said they plan to assist Breed in identifying the individuals who will next serve on the board, according to Bay Area news station KRON-TV.

The recall organizers thanked members of the public on its website for voting to recall the SFBOE members and encouraged visitors to "help us get better leaders."

"Would you do a good job on the school board? We're screening candidates & sending them to the Mayor," a message on the website says.

Beneath the invitation is a button that redirects website visitors to questions interested applicants are encouraged to fill out. The application prompts candidates to explain why they believe they would be a good fit for the position, how they plan to address the impact the pandemic has had on students' education and mental health, their ideas for confronting the school district's budget deficit, and more.

Autumn Looijen, one of the recall effort's co-founders, said in a news release first obtained by KRON-TV that her team aspires to provide Breed with "a list of vetted candidates that the community backs for this important job."

"The more information the mayor has, the better decision she can make," Looijen said.

Newsweek reached out to Breed's office for comment but did not hear back before publication.