The SF school district’s deficit is even larger than we thought, and tonight the school board meets to figure out how to reduce it enough to avoid a state takeover.
The beleaguered San Francisco school board has had some difficult moments over the pandemic; facing a recall election, having their school renaming plan made the subject of national ridicule, and, you know, the standard threatening videos depicting them with swastikas on their faces. But Tuesday afternoon at 5 p.m., they’ll have what may be an even more difficult moment. KRON4 reports they’re meeting to review a plan to eliminate their $125 million deficit and avoid a state takeover of the district, and it will likely entail pink slipping hundreds of their staff and faculty.
In early October, the Chronicle (and we) reported that the district was running a $116 million deficit. That has since somehow become a $125 million deficit, according to Page 12 of the district’s just-released Proposed Budget Balancing Plan. The graphic below is from that plan, and as we see, the school board will not actually vote on the plan until December 14. Tonight is just a presentation from superintendent Vince Matthews, a plan the board will consider.
But the bloodletting will likely be gruesome. According to KTVU, Matthews “suggests cutting school site budgets by $50 million, which could result in losing more than 300 jobs. A total of $40 million dollars in cuts would come to central services, which could lead to a cut in 55 central office jobs.”
A primary reason for the deficit is declining enrollment, and as seen from Matthews’ presentation above, “declining” is putting it kindly. Declining enrollments and school district deficits are extremely common across California right now. But when the state sends you a nasty letter threatening to strip your budgetary authority, you know things have gotten a little out of hand.
Today’s school board meeting will not be carried live on either SFGovTV or SFGovTV2. But it should be available on demand afterwards, generally within four to six of its conclusion.
Image: Ed9 via Wikimedia Commons