Candidate Name: Kevine Boggess
Phone Number: (415) 275-0367
Web site: https://www.kevineboggess.org/
Name of Campaign Manager: Chelsea Boilard
How much do you expect to spend in this contest: $40,000
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021
United Educators of San Francisco (UESF)
Coleman Action Fund for Children
San Francisco Tenants Union
San Francisco Berniecrats
Bernal Heights Democratic Club
Latinx Young Democratic Club
Chinese Progressive Association Action Fund
SF Women's Political Committee
Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee (D7)
Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer (D1)
Supervisor Aaron Peskin (D3)
Supervisor Gordon Mar (D4)
Supervisor Dean Preston (D5)
Supervisor Matt Haney (D6)
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman (D8)
Supervisor Hillary Ronen (D9)
Supervisor Shamann Walton (D10)
Board of Education President Mark Sanchez
Board of Education Vice President Gabriela Lopez
Board of Education Member Alison Collins
Board of Education Member Faauuga Moliga
Board of Education Member Stevon Cook
BART Director and Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty
BART Director Janice Li
City College Trustee Tom Temprano
City College Trustee Shanell Williams
Former Supervisor and Former Board of Education member Jane Kim
Former Supervisor and Former Board of Education member Tom Ammiano
Former Supervisor and Former Board of Education member Eric Mar
Former Board of Education member Dr. Kim-Shree Maufas
Sheryl Davis, Director, SF Human Rights Commission
San Francisco Democratic Party Chair David Campos
Li Miao Lovett, San Francisco Democratic Party Member
Carolina Morales, San Francisco Democratic Party Member
Lateefah Simon, BART Director
Manojar Raju, SF Public Defender
Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: Board of Education President Mark Sanchez, Vice President Gabriela Lopez, and Commissioner Alison Collins are the Board members I currently work most closely with.
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values:
1. What is your stance on resuming in-person classes in the time of COVID? Would you prioritize particular grades or students? What would be the main basis on which you make this decision? (e.g., would it be based on your gut feelings, or whose advice would you listen to?)
To reopen schools safely, we need the decision to be driven by data from our Department of Public Health, and we need key resources in place in every school to ensure that health and safety precautions can be followed. That includes a nurse in every school and smaller class sizes to achieve physical distancing. We need regular COVID-19 testing for educators/staff and students, and PPE or face coverings for educators and students. There must be significantly more focus on health/safety/wellness, and we will have to reexamine the way that we do almost everything. Navigating all of this unchartered territory will require being in constant dialogue with educators and families about the needed changes in the classroom to ensure all parties feel safe returning to school and are not putting their lives or their loved ones in jeopardy.
2. Why are you running for school board?
For almost ten years-- through my position as Education Policy Director at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth-- I have partnered with educators, students, and families to support them collectively advocating for the kind of schools that they want and deserve. I have fought for a better public education system in San Francisco alongside teachers, students and families. I have led campaigns to address disparities in academic achievement and discipline policy, as well as pushing to ensure that the resources are there to make these efforts successful. I participate in several national and statewide educational alliances that strive to address serious funding issues for the schools and am a fervent supporter of Schools and Communities First, to right the wrong done to public schools by Prop 13 and ensure we have the funding we need to enact our vision for public education.
I'm proud of my track record, leading and supporting advocacy efforts to: increase outside funding sources to support the public schools; support wage increases for educators; expand ethnic studies in SFUSD; push for 100% affordable housing and stop large-scale market rate development; fight for equitable resources and outcomes for Black, Latinx and Pacific Islander students; expand our mental health supports for students; ensure more transparency in district decision-making, particularly with regards to the budget; end the school to prison pipeline; center youth leadership; and transform the MOU between the school district and police department to limit the parameters for police contact on school campuses and protect students. I have dedicated most of my professional life to improving the public schools.
3. How are you currently involved in the SFUSD -- or how were you involved in the past?
For almost ten years, I've worked at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth; as Education Policy Director, I have worked to address racial disparities in the public schools and build power for students, families and educators. I spend hours each week at school sites engaging with students, families, teachers and staff, and have led policy campaigns alongside our members to transform our school discipline practices, expand academic supports, build the power of students, families and educators in the decision-making process, and prioritize racial equity at every step. And I have been there alongside our educators pushing for better wages.
On a personal note, I was born and raised in San Francisco and attended public schools K-12. As a Black graduate of SFUSD, and as the parent of a child who will soon be entering the public school system, I know firsthand how far the district has come and how far we still have to go in terms of addressing inequities. I am committed to advancing a platform that puts our students, families and educators at the center, to fight for the kind of schools that they want and deserve.
4. How do you feel about the current school assignment system? Would you make changes, and if so, which ones?
I would prioritize equity, geographic balance and have a process of identifying the speciality programs that make particular schools in such high demand, in order to expand access for those types of programs in more schools. I don't think the previous system or current changes being considered address the root of the challenges with our school assignment system, being that we have don't have enough high-performing schools, limited specialty programs (like immersion programs) and few high-demand alternative schoolsâ€" and these issues are impacted significantly by race, income and geography.
Historically, addressing the geographic segregation in San Francisco based on neighborhood has created a dynamic where bussing is required to transport Black and Brown students all over the City, leading to long commutes for those students. I am committed to improving all schools in San Francisco so that southeast schools with majority Black and Latinx student populations do not equate to lesser quality schools, and that all students in San Francisco have access to high quality schools regardless of neighborhood.
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?
Through Coleman Advocates, I have been very active both at the local and state level to fight to make sure our schools are funded equitably. The large amount of economic inequality in San Francisco (and across the state) means some families have significantly more access to resources to support their schools. In alliance with groups across the state, I've advocated for the State of California to implement a weighted student formula (which is now known as Local Control Funding Formula); since the implementation of LCFF, I have pushed for even more equity formulas to be built in, to compensate for the additional needs at low-income schools that are not being met. I also strongly support Prop 15 (Schools and Communities First), which while not equitable by itself, would make large corporations pay their fair share and significantly increase and restore education funding lost through the passage of Prop 13 in 1978.
6. Are you familiar with the case of Williams et al. v State of California? Do you believe that all schools in the SFUSD are currently in compliance with Williams?
Yes I am familiar with Williams v the State of California, and no, I don't believe that all SFUSD schools are in compliance. Too many of our schools still lack the necessary resources to provide students with a quality education, and through my work we have referred families to legal counsel to assist in filing formal Williams complaints.
7. What is your position on JROTC in the public schools?
I'm opposed to District resources supporting JROTC, and I also have real concerns about military recruitment tactics that are a part of ROTC programs. But ultimately I feel like school communities should be able to determine whether or not they have JROTC programming if they can find outside funding for such a program.
8. Would you support district elections for school board members?
I would not support district elections for the Board of Education because of the way city neighborhoods are racially and economically segregated as well as where families with children under the age of 18 are concentrated. I worry through district elections the voices and representation of families and students within the school district could be further minimized in overall decisions made by the board.
9. Did you support the 2016 Proposition A school bond? Do you think funds were spent wisely?
I did support Prop A, and I am not aware of any problems with how those funds were spent.
10. What is your stance on allowing noncitizen parents, guardians and caretakers of students to vote in school board elections? Did you take a public position on previous ballot initiatives on the subject?
Yes, I was a strong supporter of the non-citizen parent voting initiative that was passed by voters in 2016 (and also supported this the prior two times it was on the ballot), and was an active part of the campaign, doing voter outreach and education on the measure through my role with Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth. I also have been a part of the Immigrant Parent Voting Collaborative which since the measure's passage, has been working to educate parents about their rights and how to safely exercise them. Separate from voting rights, I also believe that language access to information from the school district is critical for undocumented and documented immigrant families and that the district must do better to serve our immigrant students and families.
11. What are your thoughts on the various non-profit organizations that partner and/or contract with SFUSD?
I think that non-profit organizations play a vital role in our school district, making up a large part of the support and safety network for students and their families. They are a critical part of the school community, and it's important that they are working in collaboration with school staff and not in silos.
12. Would you strengthen the voice of the elected student representatives, so that they could introduce legislation and vote on measures?
Yes, I want to build the voices and influence of students and families in the district, especially those most impacted by racial disparities in the district. I support elected students representatives being able to introduce legislation but my understanding is that the law currently prohibits student delegates not elected through a municipal election from having an official vote. If allowed, I would certainly support. I do want to strengthen student voice in the district, not only of elected representatives, but also of existing student leadership groups to influence education policy.
13. How do you see the role of the School Board in comparison to the role of the superintendent?
The Superintendent is responsible for managing the district's operations and implementing the policies passed by the Board of Education; the Superintendent is hired and evaluated by the Board of Education, and so it is the responsibility of the Board to hold that person accountable.
14. Do you think that SFUSD currently serves the transportation needs of its students? Would you make changes to the current system?
No, the SFUSD does not serve all the transportation needs of its students. I want to restore the district's robust school bus system (with unionized labor) to get students across the city that has been diminished over the years. Many students rely on MUNI which can mean some students are on 2-3 busses and traveling for an hour each way, or parents/caregivers driving them in private vehicles which is challenging for working parents and also contributes to the City's gridlock.
15. Would you ensure that all San Francisco students have access to a public pre-K program? If so, how?
Yes. I would love to see us expand our Early Education Department so that more families can participate in those programs, as we know that there is significant need in this area across the City. As a father of a toddler, I am clear how critical early education programs are-- both for her development, and also so that I and my wife can go to work everyday. I would like to see better coordination with child care providers of all sizes, as well as the Office of Early Care and Education, to ensure that kids-- and their families-- come into the schools prepared and ready to learn. And as we come out of this recession, I want to identify a funding stream for truly universal early care, as well as the resources to better compensate our early childcare and child development educators. The pay disparity is a disgrace and we have to think about affordability, recruitment and retention to make the work sustainable and give access to childcare for all across the city.
16. 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 have not read the book, but I am familiar. I oppose the expansion and proliferation of charter schools and believe we must keep public schools public; we have seen the negative impact of charter schools on public school systems across the country and the ways in which communities of color, especially Black communities, have been hurt. I do support charter schools like Five Keys, where the charter is shared with another public institution which provides learning opportunities and the chance to earn a high school diploma in the County Jail system, filling a need not currently addressed by our public school system. But I don't support charter expansion or charter supplantation or co-location of our public schools, rather I think the systems serve two different purposes.
17. What do you think of the current requirements that students take the SBAC test, and what are your thoughts on standardized testing in general?
I have a lot of concerns about the standardized testing industry and the amount of public money invested in it; there is significant critique of so much focus on standardized testing, the implicit bias imbedded in such tests, and the ways in which such a rigid and flawed measurement misses the mark in truly assessing student achievement.
18. How can the public schools better address the needs of Special Education students and ESL students?
I have seen firsthand the long-standing failures of SFUSD to educate the ESL and Special Education student populations. For ESL students, a major problem is the lack of a clear pathway for students toward reclassification. For special education students, a problem is the lack of staffing support, specifically one-on-one paraprofessional support in the classroom. For both of these populations, SFUSD must create better channels for feedback so that those most impacted are informing practices and policies, and holding schools and the district accountable to meeting their needs. We need to adequately fund special education and ESL programs while providing sufficient support staff in the classrooms to provide individual support to students.