SF Board of Education Commits to Improving Governance Practices

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SF Board of Education Commits to Improving Governance Practices

Forms Ad Hoc Committee on Board Procedures

Press Release

San Francisco (June 30, 2022) - San Francisco Board of Education President Jenny Lam shared more details about the Board’s long-term plan to improve the governance practices of the SF Board of Education.

“If a board operates effectively, research shows it is more likely to improve student outcomes,” Board of Education President Jenny Lam said. 

Board commissioners have committed to participate in training with the Council of the Great City Schools on effective governance. The governance team, consisting of the Board and incoming Superintendent Matt Wayne, began their training in May and is implementing a long-term plan to improve their practice.

SF Board of Education commissioners approved a resolution on Tuesday to temporarily pause the Board’s standing committees to give the Board and superintendent time to listen to the community and refresh the district’s vision, values, and goals and focus on improved governance practices. Standing committees of the board are tasked with considering and refining policies that fall under the committee's charge. Per Resolution 226-14A1, the standing committees of the Board that will be temporarily paused include the Rules, Policy and Legislation Committee; Curriculum and Program Committee; Budget and Business Services Committee; and Personnel and Labor Committees. 

While committees are on pause, urgent and important business that would have been handled by the committees will go through the regular Board of Education as a whole, resulting in increased transparency as regular Board meetings are held in person but also accessible online via Zoom and broadcast on KALW radio station and SFGOV TV.

President Lam appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on Board Procedures. Lam said, “Specifically, board procedures involve how Board members interact with each other, how the Board runs meetings, where the Board focuses its attention, how the Board and superintendent work with each other, and how the Board engages with the community. Having a clear set of operating procedures that all seven commissioners agree to follow will increase our Board's likelihood of effectiveness in these areas.”

An ad hoc committee means it is temporary, has clear goals, and will sunset after roughly 60 days from when it was approved. Unlike the standing committees that have been temporarily paused, this ad hoc committee is directly related to the Board’s efforts to improve its practices. The goals of the Ad Hoc Committee on Board Procedures are to provide the full board with written drafts of the following by Sept. 1, 2022:

  1. Procedures regarding board communications with board members, staff members, and community members. 
  2. Procedures regarding the creation of the board meeting annual calendar and monthly agendas.
  3. Procedures regarding how to address concerns from board members, staff members, and community members.

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