By Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P] / Bay City News
As three members of the San Francisco Unified School District's school board face a recall election in February, some parents fear it could put a damper on the progress that has been made in expanding opportunities for underserved students.
In a story published Monday, KQED spoke with African-American and Latino parents who felt their voices had been drowned out in the recall election that has drawn national attention.
Recall advocates are frustrated with three of the district's seven school board members because schools remained closed last year despite the reopening of private schools.
At the same time, the board addressed other issues, including renaming schools and changing the admissions policy at Lowell High School, San Francisco's elite public high school. City and county officials also asked board member Alison Collins to resign after tweets they called anti-Asian in 2016.
Thus, Collins, Faauuga Moliga and board president Gabriela Lopez face dismissal.
District surveys found that families of color were more hesitant to return to school in the spring than white families. KQED has reported on Asian families, especially Chinese families, who are worried about sending their children back to the classroom.
KQED also spoke with parents who praised the board's effort to enroll more black and Latino students at Lowell High School, as well as the creation of the district's first Samoan bilingual immersion program since Pacific Islander Moliga served on the school board.
Tonga parent Anna Mahina said seeing a fellow Pacific Islander on the school board is empowering for both students and parents "because he knows the struggles straight from the heart."
Collins, Moliga and Lopez told KQED that their board's actions have been in response to community needs.
"There's no way the dismissal is going to close the learning loss," said teacher and parent Cynthia Meza. "If anything, it's going to make things worse."
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