London Breed Picks Her Own Advisor for the San Francisco School Board
San Francisco Mayor London Breed named her education supervisor Jenny Lam to a vacant seat on the San Francisco Board of Education Tuesday. Lam is replacing Matt Haney who was recently elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Before joining the mayor’s administration, Lam worked as a state engagement manager at nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, which is dedicated to improving internet access in public schools. She also previously co-chaired the San Francisco Unified School District's Public Education & Enrichment Fund Committee and the Quality Teacher and Education Act Committee.
In a statement, Mayor Breed praised Lam’s history of fighting for public school students and the city's immigrant community. Lam herself is a second-generation Chinese-American and a public school parent who has consistently “demonstrated a commitment to improving our public schools and to promoting equity throughout our entire school district," according to the mayor.
While there’s little doubt about Lam’s qualifications, ethical questions have been raised by her appointment.
“We should re-examine whether someone who represents the mayor as an education policy advisor should have a voting seat on the board — we should have a discussion about it,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer.
Haney himself acknowledged the appointment could raise conflicts and said he hopes Lam will be able to maintain her independence, especially in light of recent disagreements between the board and the mayor’s office.