San Francisco Sues Its Own School District, Board Over Reopening
Several readers have shared this report: In what could be the nation’s first such case, the city of San Francisco filed suit Wednesday against its own school district, demanding the restart of in-person instruction for more than 52,000 students. City Attorney Dennis Herrera named the San Francisco Board of Education, the San Francisco Unified School District and Superintendent Vincent Matthews as defendants in what the city says is an unprecedented legal fight between overlapping government agencies over how to reopen classes during the pandemic. Herrera said the board has had more than 10 months to develop a plan to get students back into classrooms and so far “they have earned an F.” Students in districts just outside San Francisco and those enrolled in San Francisco private schools have all seen the inside of classrooms since the pandemic struck, unlike SFUSD pupils, the plaintiffs said. “Having a plan to make a plan doesn’t cut it,” the city attorney added.

While some major metropolitan areas operate public schools from City Hall, virtually all California K-12 campuses come under the authority of local districts that are autonomous from city and county governments. San Francisco City Hall and the San Francisco Unified School District, and its school board, operate independently of each other. “This is not the path we would have chosen, but nothing matters more right now than getting our kids back in school,” Mayor London Breed said. “The city has offered resources and staff to get our school facilities ready and to support testing for our educators.” Representatives for the National School Boards Association, an advocacy group for public schools and local boards of education, said they believe San Francisco’s lawsuit is the first civil action filed by a city against a district over Covid-19 closings. “Reopening decisions are very, very difficult, but they call for collaboration, not litigation,” association CEO Anna Maria Chavez said in a statement. “Everyone wants students back in schools as soon as it is safe, but it must be a community decision based on local data that involves all of the key players from teachers and administrators to parents and local health officials.” Further reading: San Francisco Vs San Francisco School Board: A Push To Get Students Back In School.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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