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San Francisco school district releases plan to fix massive budget deficit

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Faced with a $125-million budget shortfall for next school year, San Francisco Unified School District is unveiling its plan to fix the problem, while avoiding a possible takeover from the state. 

These proposed cuts are across the board, and dive into the classroom, student services, and even propose layoffs. 

The district is under the gun from the state to cut millions of dollars from its budget for the next school year or risk a takeover from the state. 

It’s a tough math problem, with lots of variables. 

Where to find $125-million? 

San Francisco Unified School leaders are hoping the plan released Tuesday will provide the solution, to avoid a state takeover. 

Among the proposed cuts:

  • $50-million in funding for individual schools
  • 360-jobs schools, and 55-jobs at the central office
  • $10-million would be cut from student programs like JROTC, special education services, community services coordiatiors and more
  • Administration and operations services would be cut by $20-million

“I don’t know of one school site that at this moment can say, yeah… we don’t need so and so, or we don’t need this position,” Cassondra Curiel said. 

Cassondra Curiel is the president of United Educators of San Francisco, the union representing the teachers and schools staff. 

“Cuts to schools or schools having to make the decision around which positions to cut only exacerbates the trauma we’ve been through,” Curiel said. 

She believes there are more places the district could cut from first, before impacting students and teachers. 

“We’re talking about, from levels of administration and management that aren’t maybe directly impacting students at this moment. Perhaps special projects can be paused until such a time that grants can be found,” Curiel said. 

The district currently has 49,000 students. It’s been a steady drop over the past 5-years. 

Curiel is calling on state and local leaders to fix a problem that’s impacting schools statewide. 

“Schools across California are suffering from unenrollment especially in large urban districts that didn’t see this coming,” Curiel said. 

The state of California has offered $30-million in grants to help offset the deficit. 

Curiel says she is looking forward to working with the district on a solution. 

Over the next 6-weeks, the school leaders will have listening sessions for the public to weigh in. 

A final plan must be submitted to the state by December 15th.

Read original article here

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