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San Francisco school board recall submits signed petitions in effort to qualify for ballot

Supporters of the effort to oust three San Francisco school board members gathered at City Hall Tuesday morning to hand off tens of thousands of signed recall petitions.

The Department of Elections now has 30 business days to determine whether there are enough valid signatures to force a special election.

The campaign submitted approximately 80,000 signatures per school board member, and 51,325 are required to qualify.

Political experts say it’s now all but guaranteed that there will be a recall election, which will take place sometime between now and February 2022.

If the election takes place, and any of the three members are recalled, Mayor London Breed will appoint their replacements.

The recall effort reflects disappointment among many families after San Francisco’s public schools remained closed for much of the 2020-21 school year.

Public school parent David Thompson, dressed on Tuesday as a colorful Abraham Lincoln, told Here/Say that he joined the recall effort after witnessing his 10-year-old son "climb up the walls during Zoom school" last year and the school board "doing nothing about it."

Backers of the incumbent board members say they’re being blamed unfairly and that the board did the best it could amid an unprecedented pandemic.

Also on Tuesday, commissioner Alison Collins dropped her $87 million lawsuit against the district and fellow board members.

Photos by Camille Cohen.

Sophie Bearman can be reached at

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