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Moliga steps down from school board one day after decisive recall vote

San Francisco Board of Education Commissioner Faauuga Moliga resigned Wednesday evening, just one night after local voters ousted him and two of his colleagues in a decisive recall election.

Moliga could have remained in office for about a month if he chose to. Assuming the election is certified promptly and the Board of Supervisors declares the result at its March 1 meeting, he would have had until March 11 to leave his post.

“Resigning immediately creates an opportunity for a new board member to step in at this important moment,” Moliga said in a statement. “I want to make sure that whoever is going to be appointed can be brought in as soon as possible as we have some important issues coming up with balancing the budget and selecting a new superintendent.”

Moliga submitted his resignation to Superintendent Vincent Matthews and Board President Gabriela López, who was recalled alongside Moliga and Commissioner Alison Collins on Tuesday. López said she intends to remain on the board until the vacancy takes effect. Collins simply said she would “continue to advocate and I’m not going anywhere.”

Mayor London Breed appointed Moliga shortly before the 2018 election, filling a vacancy left by Hydra Mendoza. She said Wednesday that she did not regret the decision.

“Faauuga had a lot of skills in working with communities that are on the southeast sector of the city,” Breed said. “He was running already and had a lot of support and especially had a lot of support from the communities that were struggling in our school district.”

It’s unclear if this speeds up the timeline to fill vacancies. Breed said she would be having “heavy conversations” about who to place on the board as elections officials and the supervisors finalized the results.

“Nothing has changed since the mayor detailed her process yesterday,” Breed’s press director Andy Lynch wrote in an email. “Her focus right now is on identifying and interviewing potential appointees who are up to the task of addressing the numerous challenges facing the School District.”

The Board of Education has critical decisions to make between now and March 15, when layoff notices must be finalized and another mandatory budget report must be submitted to the state to prevent further intervention. A search for a new superintendent is also ongoing.

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