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San Francisco School Board Recall Petitions Certified; Collins, Lopez, Moliga Face Vote In February

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Three members of the San Francisco Board of Education will face a recall election early next year, after city officials announced the petitions have been certified.

According to the San Francisco Department of Elections, the recall election for board members Alison Collins, Gabriela Lopez and Faauuga Moliga has been scheduled for February 15, 2022.

The election comes after some parents expressed frustrations with the school board on multiple issues. Recall supporters have cited the pace of the resumption of in-person learning during the pandemic, with many students not on campuses for more than a year. Supporters have also cited a controversial effort to rename schools.

"We did it!" the Recall SF School Board campaign said on Twitter. "A grassroots community of over 1000 parents, teachers and residents made SF history today!"

According to the recall campaign, supporters submitted about 81,300 signatures to recall Lopez, 81,200 to recall Collins and 77,000 to recall Moliga, significantly above the 51,325 needed to recall a board member.

United Educators of San Francisco, which represents 6,500 San Francisco Unified School District employees including teachers, is vehemently opposing the recall effort.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the union cited the estimated $8 million cost of the election amid a massive budget deficit for the district. Recall opponents also cited the proximity of another board election in November of 2022 and that Mayor London Breed would appoint the replacements for recalled board members.

"The recall will waste precious resources when decision-makers need to be laser-focused on meeting the needs of our students. A successful recall ultimately results in mayoral control of the board of education, making it harder for families and the educators they entrust their children with every day to advocate for resources," said UESF president Cassondra Curiel.

"SFUSD is facing as much as a $112 million deficit next year, which could mean layoffs, increases in class sizes and cuts to essential services to our most vulnerable students. We need an independent board that will fight for the resources our students deserve, not a board beholden to City Hall," Curel went on to say.

Election officials said paid arguments for and against the recall are being accepted for the voter information pamphlet. Arguments must be submitted by November 29.

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