SF offers $6 million to help school district meet $113-million budget shortfall

City provided $19.2 million from its 'rainy day' fund last year

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty Friday announced that about $6 million will be provided to the San Francisco Unified School District to help it meet a $113 million budget shortfall over the next two years.

Superintendent Carlos Garcia said at the district's Board of Education meeting Wednesday that reductions are likely to services such as supplemental counseling, staff development, physical education and violence prevention programs to address the budget shortfall.

There is also the possibility of suspending teacher sabbaticals, freezing salary increases, or increasing class sizes, although those moves would have to be done after negotiating with United Educators of San Francisco, the union of teachers working for the district.

Newsom announced the releasing of rainy day funds during remarks at "Bridging the Bay," a conference held by after-school professionals such as recreation coordinators.

The rainy day fund was created when voters passed Proposition G in 2003. The account's balance currently stands at about $24 million, and the district should receive 25 percent of that total.

The school district received $19.2 million from the rainy day fund last year.

"By releasing these rainy day funds, we are hoping to ease some of the pain and help prevent even deeper cuts to education and layoffs," Newsom said in a statement.

"We are lucky in San Francisco to have saved our extra revenue for when times get tough," Newsom said. "Those tough times are here and we need to do whatever we can to minimize the impact on our students."

However, the large deficit means that cuts will still likely have to be made despite the releasing of rainy day funds. At Wednesday's meeting, Garcia asked the board to consider his proposals and make a decision soon.

The district has until March 15 to notify families about offers for school placement and to send preliminary layoff notices to teachers.

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Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Lets not forget that there is always the option of families spending more time with their children and engaging in sports activities as a family/neighborhood!

Teachers have as many expenses as anyone, it's NOT a matter of sacrificing children.

If parents are concerned about PE for their kids, consider volunteering 15 hrs. weekly to a school sports program!

STEP UP AND DO YOUR PART. It's NOT ENOUGH to simply keep cranking out babies!

America is GREAT because of TEAMWORK! GO TO IT TEAM! HOORAY!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2010 at 8:09 pm

If you teachers want more money, consider spending 15 hours in the private sector

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 31, 2010 at 8:49 pm

i think that the union is a wonderful voice for the's fab that teachers get good salaries and love their jobs!

keep the teachers happy and they will always do a good job educating your children...

i like to watch Dr. Oz because he says that parents that exercise and play sports with they kids have more trusting family that cool or what?


Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:58 pm

gunsipper - many teachers have and the government in their infinite wisdom take all of their social security that they may have paid into for 10 or 20 years or more.

So just how much money do you think a teacher should earn?

Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I actually think a teacher should make great money. Thus, capitalism would ensure great minds are at the helm of our classrooms. However, such strong teachers could easily take the helm of a 40 student classroom, especially if the kids are taught discipline and have their excess energy blown out with proper and plenty physical education.

Such is why we must raise class sizes, lay off around 30% of the teachers, allot plenty of money for their re-education, raise salaries for those we keep and our kids end up better, plus we're fiscally ahead.

Why am I targeting the teachers? I'm not! You're salaries make up 85% of the education budget! You teachers are the budget! And there's an unnecessary amount of you. So sorry, time to adapt and change and contribute to your nation and future generations in another way. Then your private sector dollars can put more resources into our schools

Like this comment
Posted by local teacher
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 1, 2010 at 5:53 am

Gunslinger, sure knows how to "sling" it! My 5th grade students are wonderful and well-behaved, in a classroom of 33. The physical size of our classroom is not sufficient to accommodate an additional 7 desks, for starters. Pity the poor student in a "lecture hall" of 40 kids, who should require any additional support from a teacher. Get real, Gunslinger--volunteer for a day in a classroom to see what really goes on before you shoot from the hip!

Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2010 at 7:18 am

I've already done all that teacherman. I make very informed decisions, probably more so than you, for probably unlike you I've actually tried other methods, such as getting kids motivated to do something athletic for a moment, if even just five minutes at the beginning of each class. It can be done. It will be done. Stop complaining that you can't handle a few more kids. You're a teacher for Gods sake! That's what you were trained to do.

And stop asking parents who don't agree with you to volunteer. Why don't you volunteer at my job, or anyone elses job, if you want a taste of how we make the money that you want to pilfer

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

If parents could only be more loving and help out by volunteering in schools for only 15 hrs. weekly, everybody would love it. I can see it now, patriot citizens volunteering to do their part other than just cranking out kids and whining about teachers.

If 15 hrs. weekly is too much time to volunteer, then you must not really love your own children. I think that kids deserve the extra attention that a parent can bring to a teaching team. There is no reason that parents can't volunteer their time unless they love themselves more than they love their children. BUSTED!

Like this comment
Posted by Lucy
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Feb 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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