San Francisco's public school system, grappling with declining enrollment and a looming budget deficit, is set to close or consolidate an unspecified number of schools by fall 2025, Superintendent Matt Wayne announced.

Wayne discussed the plan at a summit Saturday and gave more details in an interview with the Chronicle. "We feel like in order to create the schools our students deserve and our families expect, we need to have fewer schools," Wayne told the Chronicle’s education reporter, Jill Tucker.

SF public schools currently have about 49,500 students enrolled – down from 53,000 in 2015. Projections show they could lose another 5,000 by 2032.

With fewer students comes decreased state funding, further straining the district's already stretched resources and the city’s budget crisis. Wayne told the Chronicle that the district faces a "fiscal cliff" after years of overspending. He said the current lack of funds prevents the district form providing consistent support, programs, and necessary repairs across all of SF’s 121 schools. Wayne also noted that the potential for a state takeover if the budget isn’t balanced.

While no specific schools have been identified yet, the district apparently aims to finalize the closure list by September or October 2024, for a potential implementation by fall 2025. The next eight months will reportedly be dedicated to establishing closure criteria, conducting an equity audit to ensure marginalized students aren't disproportionately affected, and gathering extensive community input.

Previously: SFUSD Looks Likely to Cut 900 Jobs as District's Deficit Explodes to More Than $400 Million

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