SF Green Party School Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2018
Due Date: Friday, Aug 24
Candidate Name: Faauuga Moliga
Phone Number: 415-559-9181
Web site: faauugamoliga.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Glen Davis
Signed voluntary spending limit: $70,000
Major Endorsements: United Educators of San Francisco, San Francisco Democratic Party, San Francisco Labor Union, SEIU 1021, Mayor London
Breed, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, Former State Senator Mark Leno
Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: Matt Haney, Stevon Cook, Shamman Walton, Mark Sanchez, Hydra Mendoza, Emily
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: NA
1. How are you currently involved in the SFUSD -- or how were you
involved in the past?
I have spent 14 years in education utilizing my skills in mental
health and tackling issues around truancy, push-out rates, trauma,
youth development, social emotional learning, affordability and
community schools. I returned to San Jose to pursue a Masters in
Social Work while working full time at Burton High School and Carver
Elementary. The outcome of this work led to the largest decrease in
drop rates at Burton High School, and the founding of the SFUSD CARE
Center, a school supporting students who were chronically truant to
re-engage back into mainstream education. I also led a student athlete
campaign with young men in SFUSD to promote consent in an effort to
decrease rape. This effort led to nearly 3,000 student athletes
receiving education and pledging to the consent campaign in two years.
Today, I work closely with the SFUSD leadership team to create
systemic changes to support Pacific Islander students. I am currently
working with commissioners Cook, Mendoza, and Walton to introduce a
resolution in March that will begin addressing the opportunity gap
among Pacific Islanders. Finally, I was recruited by the Department
of Public Health to build Wellness Centers in San Francisco Public
Housing to address the violence, addiction, and mental health issues
preventing our families from being able to live in safe and supportive
communities. I currently work one day a week at Downtown Continuation
High School providing trauma informed services for HOPESF students
impacted by violence in their neighborhoods.
2. Why are you running for school board?
Not only am I a San Francisco native and San Francisco Unified School
District alumni, but I am also the first Pacific Islander candidate
for School Board. I represent a severely neglected community impacted
by high poverty rates, increased incarceration, and low college
readiness. My campaign focuses on key issues that not only impact
Pacific Islanders but all our students -- the opportunity gap.
3. How do you feel about the current school assignment system? Would
you make changes, and if so, which ones?
As a board member I believe this is a question of equity and resource
distribution among our schools in SFUSD. Although I believe diversity
is important, I also understand that we need to fully fund our public
schools so that they are able to provide the proper education to all
of our students and families no matter what neighborhood schools
reside in. Black and Brown students consistently perform poorly
whether they are in diverse or neighborhood schools. Growing up in
San Francisco and attending public schools in the early 90's, I had
the opportunity to experience an education process that was rich in
ethnic diversity. It has made a long lasting positive impact on my
life today, and I learned a great deal of cultural sensitivity through
this experience. However, San Francisco historically has been been a
segregated city and the issue of diversity for me is not solely on
SFUSD. I believe I can bridge the leadership between SFUSD, the City
and County of San Francisco, and communities to address this ongoing
concern of school diversity and neighborhood schools and properly fund
our public school system. No matter what school students attend,
these schools should be able to provide and meet their needs.
4. How can we redistribute the more experienced and higher paid
teachers throughout the city? What do you think the school district
needs to do to attract and improve the retention of good teachers who
are willing to work in socially stressed schools?
There are three factors which have created a teacher shortage in
SFUSD. These factors are credentialing, student loans, and the lack of
professional support and wellness services to sustain a health
career. I would address these by allocating funding to professional
development so that educators are financially supported attaining
various credentials, especially in the special education programs. In
addition, I would create secure funding through private and city and
county resources to build a loan forgiveness program. Lastly, I plan
to create an Educators Wellness Initiative to provide free mental
health services for staff.
5. Some of our schools receive significant funding from parent
fundraising. Are you concerned about the inequality in fundraising
between schools in rich and poor neighborhoods, and if so, what ideas
do you have to make things more equitable?
I believe this is an opportunity to leverage resources to create
opportunities for all our students in SFUSD. I recommend SFUSD develop
a system that helps develop a program that can provide resources to
support students and educators which are not able to be funded through
their yearly allocated budget. This program would also allow
parent-led fundraising to continue raising funds and benefiting from
their hard work. These funds can be used to support wellness for
teachers, special education, and other necessary expenses.
6. What is your position on JROTC in the public schools?
I believe the JROTC is a program has proven to be effective in
building character, leadership, and outstanding students within our
school district. Over the years of its existence, the JROTC program
has successfully supported many students. I support the work that the
JROTC program has provided in nurturing the growth of our
students. However, I am against the military industrial complex which
has recruited heavily in poor neighborhoods to supply its needs.
7. Would you support district elections for school board members?
8. What do you think of the public comment policy at school board
meetings? How (if at all) would you change it?
I would like to alter the public comment process so that it provides
an efficient and timely approach for users. I would work to seek a
solution that allows speakers to address the board in alternate
avenues, in addition to the current speaking process. I would
recommend a order change on when public comment is provided, in
addition to allowing for written public comments to be submitted for
individuals who prefer this way of communicating.
9. What is your stance on allowing noncitizen parents, guardians and
caretakers of students to vote in school board elections?
I fully support noncitizen parents, guardians and caretakers of
students to vote in school board elections.
10. In what ways would you work to increase teacher input in
administrative decision-making? How would you work to increase the
voice of school site councils (parents, students and staff), in
I am an advocate of a community-based approach to schools. This
approach increases increase student achievement, family engagement,
and collaboration between the SFUSD, surrounding community, and City
and County of San Francisco. A community-based approach allows
students and families to feel connected to their school and transforms
them into committed partners on campus. When family engagement is
prioritized, and our educators have a seat at the table, teachers also
feel supported by the entire school community.
11. Would you strengthen the voice of the elected student
representatives, so that they could introduce legislation and vote on
Yes, I founded the Burton High School Youth and Government program
which is a statewide civic engagement opportunity for
students. Student are trained in the democratic process and how to
create bills that will train them to understand policies in their
lives. I also strongly believe that students should be allowed to vote
at the age of 16, especially in the school board race that holds a
hefty role in the outcome of their education.
12. How do you see the role of the School Board in comparison to the
role of the superintendent?
As a school board commissioner, I will work with other commissioners
to oversee and guide the direction of the SFUSD. I will work with the
superintendent to assure goals and outcomes set forth are met to
benefit the best interest of all our students and workers. I
understand that it is the superintendent responsibility to carry out
the mission of the SFUSD and prepare its administration to support our
schools and workers.
13. A portion of SFUSD income is from rental of various
properties. What changes should the district make to increase the
income from these properties?
I would work to allocate these funding's so that they support schools
which are being rented out. This will help with schools that are in
need of additional fundings that are not able to raise through robust
PTA such as other schools.
14. What should the district do to make its schools more
I believe schools need facilities upgrade that take into account
current issues such as rodent infestation, water led, and creating
energy efficient sites. A large number of schools currently need major
improvements so that it is an environmentally friendly space for
students, educators, and families.
15. Would you ensure that all San Francisco students have access to
public pre-K program? If so, how?
Early Education is a vital pillar needed to support the success of our
students throughout their educational journey. Our EED needs
continuous support so that it is fully funded and able to carry out
the necessary year round service it offers to our students and
families. Adequate resources are needed to support students in their
development while in Early Education and also during their transition
into K-12. Understanding that the two departments are a major
transition for students, it is important that a robust transition plan
is in place which meets the needs of students and kindergarten
teachers assuring an overall success for the families and school
sites. Educators also need to be supported in terms of salary and
professional development so that they are able to provide services for
the diverse population of students they support. Lastly, I would like
to offer families access to our amazing infants and toddlers program,
especially in our most under resourced communities. Currently there
is only one SFUSD infant and toddler program which is located in the
Presidio, however, there remains a high need for such a program in
neighborhoods such as Bayview and Tenderloin where families are not
able to afford similar services in the private sector.
16. Do you think Prop 13 needs to be reformed? If so, in what ways?
How will you use your position on the Board to advocate for this?
Yes, I would support the reform "split roll" to split commercial
properties from residential ones. I will work alongside my colleagues
and elected officials to assure that this proposition makes it to the
ballot and is passed.
17. Have you read Diane Ravitch's book, "The Death and Life of the
Great American School System?" What lessons should the District take
from this work? Whether or not you've read the book, what role do you
see for charter schools in the public education system?
I believe charter schools take away resources that are necessary to
fully fund public schools. They have become instruments of elitism
that deplete public school resources. Although they are public and
secular, they elude the bureaucratic constraints of school
districts. Recent studies show that charter schools do not outperform
public schools. I find that in the current era of school choice,
charter schools are also a white flight option. White flight persist
within our public school system and that racially competitive
processes occur within the contemporary educational process. These
types of processes have been linked to employment discrimination,
historical battles over bussing, and the social control of racial and
ethnic minority groups. Charter schools have the opportunity to
segregate schools even further. I believe in a community schools
model where school districts; city and county departments and private
corporations; and the community are working together to support our
public schools. Community schools have proven to be effective to
supporting public schools thrive.
18. What do you think of the District's use of standardized tests? How
would you change them, if at all?
Testing has proven to be ineffective, specifically when measuring the
success of our Black and Brown students in the district.
Building/redesigning a performance assessment to better align with a
more student-centered and student-driven approach is a method I
recommend. Advocating for these rubrics, is a way to measure learning
in a comprehensive and alternative way, calibrated with others who are
doing the same work in the California Performance Assessment Coalition
(CPAC). These projects are calibrated across other schools who also
have performance assessments. This performance assessments can be used
for high school graduation and college admissions, rather than state
mandated standardized tests that measure arbitrary skills and
19. How can the public schools better address the needs of Special
Education students and ESL students?
Both of these areas are important and need the attention and resources
to operate effectively. The Special Education department needs to be
fully funded and my priority is to assure that mental health services
are available to support areas of the program. Community schools model
and increasing our ability to language access is important to support
our ESL students.
20. Please describe how you make your political decisions. What is
the main basis for your decision making (e.g., consultation with your
constituents, political consultants, colleagues, unions, businesses,
donors, or your gut feelings)?
I will consult with mentors and experts in the field needed. I will
also conduct my own research to understand the issue at hand and its
impact. I will then make a decision that benefits our students,
communities, and SFUSD workers.
Due Date: Friday, August 24, 11:59 pm.
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