S.F. officials honor teachers union president, angering parents who blame her

San Francisco classrooms are expected to welcome back all students in the fall, but anger over the closure of district schools during the pandemic has lingered for some families.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has designated June 16 as Susan Solomon Day in honor of the outgoing president of the city’s teachers union, who’s retiring. But the gesture is drawing ire from some parent groups, who say her legacy is nothing to celebrate.

The resolution, which is a largely symbolic gesture, comes after over a year of pandemic-related school closures resulting in learning loss and mental health struggles for many students and families. SFUSD and its teachers union, United Educators of San Francisco, agreed to bring a small number of younger and at-risk students back to classrooms in April after months of bitter negotiations and deadlock.

The resolution was passed unanimously last month and returned to the board unsigned by Mayor London Breed.

According to her spokesperson Jeff Cretan, Breed does not sign ceremonial resolutions as a standard practice.

Solomon, a San Francisco native and lifelong educator will be retiring after an unprecedented school year. She began her teaching career in 1999 and became involved in union activism in 2001. She taught kindergarten at John Swett Elementary School before it closed.

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