SFUSD Seeks to Navigate Deep Fiscal Challenges
The San Francisco Unified School District held a packed meeting last Tuesday to discuss its dire financial position. Trustees stopped short of calling for school closures, but parents and community activists worry that a new district advisory committee will recommend putting schools on the chopping block.
SFUSD has lost 4,000 students since 2012, the district has revealed. Over the next nine years, it expects to lose another 4,600. By 2024, the district is anticipating a loss of $5 million.
One day before the school board meeting, United Educators of San Francisco released a report on the district’s financial standing and the decisions that led to the current challenges.
"Our report found that SFUSD engaged in: Needless short term borrowing practices which have cost the district millions; Increased central office spending on upper management positions exponentially, even as attendance remained consistent and enrollment decline; Forgone millions by leaving buildings such as this and land underutilized; failed to safeguard public dollars by contracting with consulting groups worth billions that failed to deliver on their promises," said UESF President Cassondra Curiel.
In addition to the enrollment declines, SFUSD is grappling with severe teacher shortages. Its facilities are also in need of around $6 million in repairs.