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Superintendent agrees to postpone retirement as anchor to district in crisis

Amid growing crises within the San Francisco Unified School District and among its board members, Superintendent Vincent Matthews said Monday that he will delay his planned retirement by one year.

It was just a month ago when Matthews announced that he would retire at the end of June. He shared in a Monday morning Twitter post that the Board of Education requested he delay retirement until June 2022, adding:

“SFUSD needs stability and focus at this time. I am dedicated to supporting all of our SFUSD community as we navigate the many challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in the coming year.”

The additional year gives the board more time to find for a suitable replacement to fill his role and allows board members to focus on reopening in-person classrooms.

Board President Gabriela López said in a statement that it may take more than a year to replace Matthews, which is why she asked him to stay on.

López said:

“Right now, it’s time for the San Francisco school board to focus. It’s still our goal to get all of our students back to in-person learning, and stabilize our budget as soon as possible.

On Twitter, she added that Matthews is “best positioned” to achieve those goals.

The board has been embroiled in controversies over the past year, resulting in multiple lawsuits related to a school renaming proposal, alleged lack of priority given to reopening schools and a recent vote to strip Alison Collins of her vice president title and committee assignments.

Collins came under fire in March when derogatory Twitter messages she posted in 2016 resurfaced. She is suing the district and board members for a total of $87 million.

The district is in the process of reopening schools. The first group of students will return to limited in-person classrooms on April 12.

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