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.”