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Breed’s ballot initiative to expand city oversight of school district board delayed in committee

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is leaving the school district alone—for now. In a 2-to-1 vote, the Rules Committee tabled a charter amendment today that would have granted the city more oversight over the Board of Education. 

Mayor London Breed’s proposed charter amendment, which would have appeared on the June ballot, was aimed at keeping the Board of Education in line by withholding city funding unless it meets a set of city requirements like completing city-approved training and passing an annual budget.

With the Feb. 25 deadline to submit charter amendments for the June ballot fast-approaching, the vote all but guarantees no similar ballot measure will appear this summer. 

The Monday morning vote came on the heels of a series of conversations editing the amendment over the past few weeks. Last week, the Rules Committee adopted amendments to strip the draft of mentions of a Children’s Agency that would have united city-run children’s programs under one umbrella. That focused the new draft entirely on accountability for the San Francisco Unified School District.

At that meeting, Supervisor Hilary Ronen took shots at the proposed amendment as a whole, calling it little more than “political finger-wagging.” She plans to introduce her own amendment for the November ballot.

On Monday morning, Supervisor Connie Chan introduced a motion to table the measure. While Chan said she agreed with the charter amendment’s intent to address dysfunctionality at the Board of Education, she sees codifying those ideas in the city’s charter as an overreach of power. Her motion passed with support from Supervisor Aaron Peskin, with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman the lone vote against tabling the amendment. 

“Does this approach really produce a better education for our kids?” Chan said. “I frankly do not think so.”