EXCLUSIVE: SFUSD committee chair resigns and criticizes district for lack of planning to tackle learning loss

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – A high-ranking San Francisco Unified School District committee chair resigned on Tuesday, citing concerns the district is not doing enough to tackle learning loss.

“I had to make a decision that suited my son,” said Naomi Laguana, chair of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) which provides feedback to the district school board.

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Laguana says she is resigning from her post in order to remove her son from the district and enroll him in a private school. According to SFUSD, PAC members are required to have a student enrolled in the district.

“He was thirsty to learn and as soon as we got into distance learning it started to go down,” Laguana said.

The school district assessment showed her son was on the right track, but an independent education specialist found that his son was in fact underachieving academically in writing and math. Laguana brought this to the school principal, but said he could not give any information on how learning loss would be assessed or treated in the future.

“It wasn’t good enough,” she said. “We have to figure this out now, not in August.”

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Disappointed by what she says is the district’s lack of preparation, Laguana plans to enroll her son in a private school.

“What upsets me is that I had the means to take it out and put it elsewhere, but there are thousands of students who do not have this privilege,” she added.

ABC7 has contacted SFUSD to see if there are any specific plans underway to help address learning loss for the next school year. We received the following statement which did not answer our question: “We respect the decision that is best for each child and their family.

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The San Francisco School Board released this statement in response to the decision:

“The Board of Directors is very grateful for the work done by the Parent Advisory Committee since its inception and Naomi Laguana is an important addition to that. While it is disheartening to see our PCB Chair leave, I understand the change and have high hopes for their new journey. “

This is not the first time that the PAC has been involved in a controversial board decision. In February, the board rejected the appointment of Seth Brenzel, a gay parent volunteer at PAC, because he was white.

“I have heard that children do well in distance learning, but not all children and I suspect most children are not,” said Laguana.

Laguana’s decision to step down highlights a larger issue of declining enrollment.

According to a report filed by the district earlier this month, nearly double the number of students transferred from kindergarten to grade 12 this school year compared to the number of students transferred.

“There is such a disparity in San Francisco and the pandemic has just widened it even more.”

A report released by the district earlier this month also highlighted concerns about the listing and its impact on the upcoming budget. The report says if enrollment numbers do not improve, there could be a significant decrease in next year’s budget.

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