Parents Lead Recall Efforts Against South Bay School Boards

A year has come and gone since hundreds of thousands of South Bay students set foot inside a classroom due to the pandemic.

It’s a year in which frustrations have reached a boiling point, turning the reopening question—which has been reductively framed as a conflict between parents and teachers—into one of the most politicized debates in the nation.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo made a return to in-person learning the inaugural cause for his nascent political advocacy group, Solutions San Jose.

Republicans made it the impetus for a recall targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose refusal to wield executive power to reopen statewide relegated decision-making to California’s 1,000-plus school districts.

So it’s unsurprising political pressure is ramping up against local trustees, some of whom now also face threats of recall.

The Santa Clara County ROV fielded a few recall notices in the past week alone. One of the biggest pushes is against Cupertino Unified School District trustees Lori Cunningham, Sylvia Leong, Jerry Liu, Satheesh Madhathil and Phyllis Vogel.

Recall CUSD Board organizers accuse trustees of “failing” its 17,000 students by refusing to resume in-person classes—a demand reportedly supported by 44 percent of its parents.

Now, a recall campaign has been leveled against the Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District, which decided to resume on-campus learning two days a week by mid-April—but only for students who feel comfortable.

It’s unclear whether parents plan a similar recall effort in Oak Grove School District after the K-8 jurisdiction announced a partial reopening that excludes seventh grade and apparently disqualifies it from more than $600,000 in state incentives.

One Oak Grove parent describes the situation as “mind boggling.”

“Those of us who want our kids back in hybrid learning are just at a loss for what to think,” she tells Fly, “and are exhausted.”

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

11 Comments

  1. Its appalling that all private schools have been running since October for in person learning with almost no issues, but public schools cannot!
    Sadly, I think its time to phase out public schools and turn them into some kind of independent charter system.

  2. I don’t support reopening for 6-7 weeks that is left in the school year especially since its 2 days a week. While its great that the teachers and staff are vaccinated but if the kids can get it from one another and transmit it to family members at home, we are not safe unless we at home are also vaccinated, which is a matter of months. I don’t see how CDC Guidelines of social distancing between students, no sharing and masking can be followed or even help a child. They will be sitting on their seats in their class in front of their laptops distance learning. Newsome bribe of opening schools is just that, a bribe to open schools for him to declare a win and dodge the recall. I applaud OGSD for not being greedy and taking prudent steps towards reopening.

  3. The public school union have been and are continuing to destroy the poorest and most vulnerable kids and you cheer them on?

    Pathetic.

    You people need a reckoning.

    Its going to hit you hard when you have 65% of San Jose kids with no future when they hit 21 and nowhere to live. They aren’t going to move, are you?

    Maybe Austin will take you.

  4. Determine which grade each student needs to be in, even if repeated, and start full time in September. We don’t have children, if we did and had the money, they would not be in a public school.

  5. Time to get public schools out of the strangle hold of government unions. Either the schools must be sold of to privet enterprise or the teachers union must be dissolved. In the mean time No work, no pay, no bonusses!

  6. A recent newspaper article stated that union officials have instructed their members to refrain from posting any pictures or stories of their vacations on social media, because it contradicts the public’s impression that teachers are working from home.

    That’s because public school teachers are still telling their unions to keep kids at home for as long as possible, since their teachers have learned to love getting paid to sit at home, pretending to teach.

    So the kids stay at home pretending to learn, and their teachers pretend to teach via by remote control from their Carnival Cruise Lines staterooms. Meanwhile, the long suffering taxpayers still put on their masks and go work . Because someone has to pay the teachers — and once again Joe Taxpayer is in the barrel. Who else?

    The problem is that this virus isn’t a threat to school age kids who don’t have a serious underlying medical condition. In fact, K-8 and high school actually benefit from virus exposure because our immune systems have a memory., and if we protecti them from viruses their immune systems will get to be almost as lazy as the average public school teacher. Yikes!

    Despite the endless union pontificating that “Kids are #1,” public school students wouldn’t even appear anywhere on an honest list of teacher priorities. Anyone with a G.R.D. knows that more MONEY is dot.EDU’s Priority #1 — closely followed by Priority #2: getting paid for not working!

    Is this a great country, or what?! (Depends on who’s being asked).

    But the old stay-at-home excuses the unions formerly used won’t convince Joe Taxpayer to open his wallet even wider, so the dot.EDU unindicted co-conspirators need to come up with a different rationale if they want to get their fingers even deeper into Joe T’s wallet.

    They know there’s more money there, but they also know that Joe Public won’t cut it loose with herd immunity in sight. So, what to do? What to do…? Hmmm-mm…

    Answer: Lie! They can always lie. But of course! And why not? They can lie to scare more loot out of Joe Taxpayer. It’s worked before, and as I like to say, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

    Why not… what’s that you say? Lying is a problem? Who do you think you’re talking to?

    As our brown tinted friends south of our non-border might say, No problema, muchachos!

    Stay tuned for dot.EDU’s newer, better, moar progressive arguments. Joe Taxpayer is about to learn why he needs to pay again for something he’s already paid for, two or three times already. That will teach him another lesson: There. Is. No. Limit!

    Their greed is boundless. You just watch — and dot.EDU was taught by the best of the best…

    …Gov. Moonbeam, take a bow!

  7. Milpitas should be the next recall on the list. That superintendent and school board are thoroughly dishonest, corrupt, and puppets of the teachers union. The only exception is Michael Tsai, whom they have been persecuting because he is too ethical to go along with them.

  8. Schools in other states have been open for months. Gavin, Sam and the county board of supervisors have all failed us.

  9. We can point fingers until the cows come home folks. The saddest part of this is our children in hopeless despair. We did not get a live commencement for my youngest for 5th grade because the school was struggling to place him as he recovered from trauma caused by a restraint his principal and vice principal kept him in. Last year his “first commencement” he would have (for 8th grade) was virtual. This year his older brother is to graduate from High School. That too is looking like it will be virtual. We need to rally and provide something more to celebrate for our students who persevered and are graduating. A virtual graduation will feed the traumatic wound our kids already have.

    I would love your constructive ideas on how we can! Anyone have an inside contact for Avaya?

  10. I fled silicon valley summer of 2019 to Florida. Our state closed for 1 month. My daughter has been in school full time since last September when Governor Desantis over ruled school unions and said all schools will re-open. Funny thing is my daughter goes to a public school and guess what the sky isn’t falling! I am so glad I fled socialist California. I make more money here retired then I did working in California. Plus, unlike California, Florida is more efficient. I received my license, registration (which here is electronic or paper your choice), hunting and fishing license all in about 2 hours from tax collector. They don’t call it DMV here. Oh and I registered my new convertible Mercedes I can afford here for $72 for 2 years. Tampa Bay is growing too, except no homeless camps, cops are respected, cost of living is way cheaper. It reminds me of San Jose about 30 years ago. As a minority I feel so much safer here for my family and our quality of life is way better with all the freedoms you have here.

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