Advocates for the reopening of San Francisco public schools are launching a political action committee to target the city's current school board.
The Campaign for Better Public Schools is considering a recall campaign against the Board of Education members, who have been caught up in the controversy over when and how to reopen public schools for in-person instruction.
Seeyew Mo, the new PAC's executive director, says board members have been slow to come up with a reopening plan.
"We want to install qualified commissioners for the Board of Education, and we also want to drive policy and political agenda to address the issues at the district," he said.
Mo says his group will also consider qualifying a ballot measure to give the mayor power to appoint board members or a splitting of the board into geographic districts.
Board of Education President Gabriela López declined to be interviewed, saying in an email that she is "focusing entirely on our district's priorities, which revolve around returning to in-person learning and anti-racist practices."
Earlier this week, district officials held a media tour through Sunset Elementary School to show off desks spaced 6 feet apart, face shields for teachers and closed-off water fountains. The school is one of six that the San Francisco Department of Public Health has inspected and approved for reopening.
“For families who want to return, we hear you and appreciate you. For staff who want us to return as safe as possible, we hear you and appreciate you,” López said. “We understand this is hard for everyone.”
San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Vincent Matthews said negotiations with school unions continue, and he did not have a specific timeline for getting back to classroom learning.
Meanwhile, a group of more than two dozen parents and students on Thursday held a demonstration to protest the continued school closures, which have only offered remote learning since March.
The "Zoom-in" was organized by the group Decreasing the Distance. The students and parents gathered at Midtown Terrace Playground, just across from Clarendon Elementary School. The students sat outside and logged into their online distance learning classes. More demonstrations are planned Friday and next week.