Yes, the same San Francisco mayor who once took an over $5K "gift" from ousted Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru just vetoed funding to the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), money that would've gone toward reinstating hundreds of canceled classes.
Over 300-plus classes have been cut from the City College of San Francisco this year alone in the wake of on-going budgetary problems. As a result, Supervisor Shamann Walton solicited the use $2.7M of SF's General Fund — the largest of its like by the City, a touchstone for discretionary support of basic municipal services like public safety, health, education, and others — as a form of “bridge funding” to help sustain the college in the absence of permanent solutions. Breed promptly shut it down, as reported by the SF Examiner’s staff.
To our City College students and faculty, we were unsuccessful in helping address class closures by providing a supplemental, as the mayor vetoed our legislation. We will continue to stand behind City College and work on long term solutions. pic.twitter.com/QCRb10Qoie— Shamann Walton (@shamannwalton) February 15, 2020
“City College’s structural budget shortfall … suggests an unwillingness or inability to balance competing priorities that jeopardizes the long-term strength of the institution,” Breed wrote in her veto message, published by the local media outlet. Her decision is not exactly shocking, though; four supervisors — Norman Yee, Rafael Mandelman, Catherine Stefani, and Aaron Pesk — voted in opposition to giving CCSF emergency funds at a late-January Board of Supervisors meeting, the SF Examiner noted.
The recently embattled mayor denounced the loss of these classes as an “unfortunate” attempt by the City College board to ensure the financial well-being of the school: “[Using the City’s] General Fund reserve dollars as a band-aid for long-term structural problems does not help City College.”
OK. Sure, Jan.
“This $2.7 million appropriation directly disincentives the fiscal responsibility that is essential to ensuring CCSF’s long-term stability,” she adds.
Oddly though, Chancellor Mark Rocha has indicated that CCSF administrators didn't want the bridge funds, a few school board members saying they'd prefer to see the college focus on restoring its own reserve fund.
That reserve fund, however, is not unlike the water levels found in Antarctica’s Dry Valleys — the most desolate, parched place on earth. The Chronicle reports that said reserve fund has now fallen below the 5 percent required by the state chancellor’s office, which, alas, could lead CCSF loosing its accreditation; a similar episode occurred in 2012 that almost closed down the school.
CCSF has cut 634 classes since 2017, including 345 for the most current semester; the financial study referenced by The Chronicle found that the learning institution spent nearly $14 million more than it took in at the end of its 2019 last fiscal year.
The City College board is again scheduled to meet on the 27th to converse about other solutions, however long-standing those ideated fixes may or may not be.
Image: Wikimedia Commons