GrowSF Voter Guide

For the November 5, 2024 General Election in San Francisco

Last Updated: July 09, 2024

Our Endorsements

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San Francisco


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The November 5, 2024 election will set the direction of the city for the next decade. From Mayor, to the Board of Supervisors, to the Board of Education, the stakes could not be higher. Will we elect leaders who will make the tough decisions to save our schools and fix the city's budget deficit, or will we continue down the path of fiscal irresponsibility and decline in quality of life?

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Voting begins on October 8th, 2024. Once voting begins, you can:

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Explaining Our Endorsements

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San Francisco

Board of Education

Vote Parag Gupta, Jaime Huling, John Jersin, and Supryia Marie Ray

The stakes of this election are high: either we elect fiscally responsible candidates who will fix San Francisco Unified School District's (SFUSD's) budget crisis, or the state will take over the district and make across-the-board cuts to close schools and fire teachers without regard to any local voices.

The structural budget deficit which developed over the past decade has put the school district on the path to insolvency. The crisis is so severe that the state has installed a fiscal monitor to oversee the district with the authority to veto any actions taken by the Board of Education.

We have endorsed Parag Gupta, Jaime Huling, John Jersin, and Supryia Ray for Board of Education (also known as the School Board) because they demonstrate a deep understanding SFUSD's problems and have the experience and knowledge to fix them. They will all prioritize fiscal responsibility, accountability, and transparency to keep our schools from being taken over by the state.

This is no time for politics, it's time for sober leadership that will make the tough decisions to save our schools.

GrowSF endorses Parag Gupta, Jaime Huling, John Jersin, and Supryia Ray for Board of Education in the November 2024 election

Parag Gupta

Parag Gupta shows a solid understanding of the issues facing the school district, and comes with some incredible work experience to ensure the district can get back on track. He has a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility and accountability, and we believe he will be a strong voice for the public on the School Board.

Parag is an executive at Mercy Housing, the nation's largest nonprofit affordable housing organization in America. At Mercy Housing, he has built and managed teams, and ensured all employees were performing adequately (a strong need for our school district). At the Stupski Foundation, Parag oversaw a nine-figure philanthropic budget and strategy that helped over 10,000 young people from low-resource households.

Upon election to the School Board, Parag pledges to start a 100-day "war room" to fully understand the district's fiscal picture (there are questions from the state about the district's finances that it hasn't been able to answer) and ensure an independent auditor can confirm the district's position.

Beyond his deep managerial and fiscal experience, Parag is also the dad of a public school student. He says that his daughter refuses to drink the water at school so she doesn't have to use its filthy and broken bathrooms. And her school is considered "good condition" -- others have insect infestations, broken windows, and more. His daughter's class even went weeks without a teacher when the district couldn't find a substitute, instead relying on him and other parents to volunteer their time to watch the kids.

I am motivated to run because the next four years will be critical for SFUSD with a potential $421 million deficit, school closures, and failing standards in K-8 math and literacy to name a few. How we address these challenges will determine the viability of SFUSD and our city's ability to attract and retain families for years, if not decades to come. We must elect four school board candidates who will bring excellence and the ability to make difficult decisions. I have the ability and a proven track record to make difficult decisions that SFUSD needs. I will be a board member who will support SFUSD staff and teachers and set students up for success.

Parag Gupta

Nonprofit Housing Executive; Candidate for School Board

Jaime Huling

Jaime Huling brings unique experience to the School Board, having negotiated high-stakes outcomes in multi-million dollar lawsuits and union negotiations—experience which will be critical when negotiating with the Teachers' Union. As a former SF Deputy City Attorney, she advised top city officials and managed large legal cases for San Francisco. Currently, she supervises three units of attorneys in Oakland's Affirmative Litigation Division, making key hiring decisions, evaluating contractors, and drafting contracts. Jaime also serves on the Board of Directors of ScholarMatch, where she reviews budgets and financial reports, and has led significant organizational changes.

Jaime's top priority is to "stabilize the budget and prevent state takeover of SFUSD." As part of that, she is committed to implementing a new zone assignment system to streamline school assignments and boost enrollment through popular programs like language immersion and Montessori, which may help stave off some school closures or at least make merging some schools easier.

She is committed to addressing the district's financial issues, advocating for streamlining the central office, closing and merging schools, and efficiently using bond money for facility upgrades. Jaime's background in high-stakes negotiations, such as her role in San Francisco's $350 million victory against opioid makers, demonstrates her ability to tackle the district's fiscal challenges and negotiate effectively with strong, entrenched organizations. Additionally, as an SFUSD parent, she has firsthand experience with the district's challenges, driving her commitment to improving the educational environment for all students.

As a Deputy City Attorney, I advised elected and appointed officers, department heads, and managers.[...] In San Francisco, I led and argued some of the biggest and most complicated cases in the City, making key strategic decisions on litigations worth up to $1.2 billion.[...] As a member of the Board of Directors of ScholarMatch, Inc., I reviewed and approved our budgets, financial reports, and audits.


At present, the district is drawing down its reserves and relying on one-time funds to balance its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. However, the state budget watchdog has determined that SFUSD has a high likelihood of becoming insolvent in the 2025-2026 fiscal year.

The state has already exerted authority to stop or reverse any budget decisions the board makes that it disagrees with. With its reserves depleted, the district must make significant structural changes to its budget this year in order to maintain its fiscal solvency and avoid the state actively taking authority to make affirmative financial decisions for the district.

The board must realign its resources by streamlining functions of the central office and closing, co-locating, and merging some schools in order to adopt a budget model for 2025-2026 that fits its now smaller student base. If the board fails to do this, the state will take over.

Jaime Huling

Supervising Deputy City Attorney, Oakland; Candidate for School Board

John Jersin

John brings exceptional experience in running large organizations, managing sizable teams, improving employee performance, and handling fiscal crises. His primary goals are to fix the district's fiscal issues, address staff shortages, and celebrate students' achievements, encouraging them to reach their full potential.

John has a track record of success, having grown a company to hundreds of millions in revenue and led a large division at LinkedIn. He has hired hundreds of people, managed teams of thousands, and coached employees to improve their performance. His deep understanding of fiscal management is evident, as he has identified the district's financial missteps and supports the introduction of a Fiscal Advisor to reverse fiscally imprudent decisions.

John acknowledges the need for school closures to address the budget crisis but emphasizes that this alone won't solve the issue. He supports a facilities bond to support the facilities budget, which has been well-handled recently. To boost enrollment, he proposes fixing the lottery system that limits access to popular schools. His approach to curriculum includes investing in early childhood education, supporting 8th-grade algebra, and expanding AP course offerings. Additionally, John advocates for increasing special education staffing and speeding up the hiring process to resolve staff shortages, drawing from his extensive experience managing organizations through layoffs and office closures.

As I see my kids about to spend the next 10+ years in our schools, and I talk regularly with the SFUSD teacher in my family, I see the crises we face - e.g. a fiscal crisis driving school closures and cuts, and a staffing crisis with far too many classrooms without teachers. I also see how the skills and experience I'm lucky to have - e.g. fiscal management, and recruiting leadership, are a direct fit for what SFUSD needs now.


The fiscal crisis is currently threatening to cause the closure of potentially dozens of schools. Our district is on track to run out of money and cause a state takeover next year, an event that normally takes 10 years to recover from. Kids face a changing school environment, loss of friends, and disruption to their learning. At the same time, our support services for kids are underfunded and often missing. Kids are being hurt by the fiscal crisis already, and it's only getting worse.

That said, it's fixable. As an appointee to the Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee, I found millions of dollars in potential savings for SFUSD after my first meeting. I've found more opportunities since then, and in each case we can both improve services for students and save money at the same time. By bringing badly needed fiscal experience to the board, and by doing the hard necessary work, I will get SFUSD back on track and fully fund our schools.

John Jersin

Computer Scientist; Candidate for School Board

Supryia Ray

Supryia demonstrates a solid understanding of SFUSD's issues. Her background as a Harvard Law graduate, lawyer, writer, and adult ESL teacher is impressive and will bring valuable experience and perspective to the board. Notably, she is the only candidate who declined to sign the Teachers' Union pledge, emphasizing her independence while highlighting that the pledge asked for commitments she found to be fiscally irresponsible. Her top goals are the financial crisis, reducing absences, providing strong academic support, and ensuring student safety from bullying.

Supryia's experience includes advocacy work during the pandemic to reopen schools and personal struggles with the SFUSD lottery system that repeatedly failed her children. She believes the Board's primary goal should be to hold the Superintendent accountable for their execution. She supports a Fiscal Advisor to help the district navigate the financial crisis and advocates for a more transparent budget process. Supryia also emphasizes the importance of data-driven decision-making, focusing on student outcomes and fiscal responsibility.

Local government decision-making, especially amidst a budget crisis, is all about making difficult decisions. For too long, our School District has failed to make difficult calls and has added or continued programs that may have been popular but did not result in better student outcomes. My general approach in the education arena is to assume good faith among all parties, but I look at the relevant facts, law, circumstances, and data in reaching positions. I state my positions directly but with respect and openness to opposing views.

Supryia Ray

Candidate for School Board

Who's running?

Paid for by Coalition to Grow San Francisco - Grow SF PAC. FPPC # 1433436. Committee major funding from: Jeremy Liew. Not authorized by any candidate, candidate's committee, or committee controlled by a candidate. Financial disclosures are available at

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