Who ya gonna blame now, recall people? The principal of SF's prestigious Lowell High suddenly up and quit Wednesday, with carefully chosen words that indicate he’s pissed about the payroll problems.

Well, anyone who thought that the dysfunction at the San Francisco Unified School District would come to a complete halt once the school board recall happened, boy have you got another thing coming. After the botched payroll fiasco ruined the honeymoon of the new board members, we first saw word on Twitter this afternoon, and it is now confirmed by the Chronicle, that Lowell High School Principal Joe Ryan Dominguez resigned Wednesday afternoon.

Dominguez says he will step down “at the end of this academic year.” This was his first year on the job, after being hired in 2019 as an assistant principal.

So why is he suddenly leaving the city’s most prestigious public high school? Let’s read between the lines of his statement. “The decision to leave SFUSD is solely based on my desire to apply my passion for education in a district that values its students and staff through well organized systems, fiscal responsibility and sound instructional practices as the path towards equity,” Dominguez wrote.

He is clearly saying he thinks the district does not “value its students and staff through well organized systems, fiscal responsibility and sound instructional practices.” Points One and Two there are “organized systems” and “fiscal responsibility,” a seeming reference to the ongoing payroll glitches. The Chronicle reported last week that “many of the existing mistakes haven’t been fixed. Teachers on leave — including one with a new baby and another caring for parents with COVID — have received no pay.”

Lowell High is of course a completely different animal than any other SF public school, with a traditionally merit-based admission process that led to a majority-Asian and white student body. That process changed to a lottery system to make the student body more diverse, but parents and alumni sued, and a series of racist incidents did not help smooth things over.  

The animosity of Lowell High parents was considered key in the recall, according to a Chronicle analysis. Those parents will be a different principal’s problem next year.

Related: Yes, SFUSD is Running a Huge Deficit — But So Are Other Districts All Over the State [SFist]

Image: Robin Y. via Yelp