Newsletter November 5, 2021 (English)

Weekly updates from SF Parents

PETITION: Hold Our School Board Accountable AND Support Statewide School Funding Increases

SFUSD schools face a $125M budget deficit, $25M of which is due to declining enrollment–a trend across the state of California. It’s undeniable that our city’s education leaders bear the large brunt of responsibility for this budget mess. However, they’re not the only ones responsible for the situation, or able to fix it. The state of California has historically underfunded public education, and has a chance to right that wrong; the state government is currently enjoying a budget surplus. Please sign our petition to Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond asking them to stabilize California’s public schools with a statewide approach to address the fiscal impact of enrollment loss in the January budget. Specifically:

  • More funding per pupil.
  • Cost of living adjustments in state funding allocations.
  • Pension and benefits relief as districts grapple with declining enrollment.

This action is not about letting our school district off the hook from making the hard decisions they’ve kicked down the road for far too long, or choosing to govern responsibly at long last. It is an important step to increase the revenue side of the equation and hold California accountable for its financial obligations to public school students.

 

School News

  • Budget cuts proposed for school sites and more. As we’ve reported, SFUSD needs to plug a $125M hole thanks to an unchecked structural deficit. Earlier this week, district staff finally put forward a proposed plan for the beginning of cuts. School sites would see $50M of those cuts and central office $40M (including $10M of “direct service” to schools). The good news is that student-teacher ratios don’t appear to be impacted. However, it’s unclear if any reshuffling will have to happen to get all classrooms towards those ratios or if teachers funded by discretionary site budgets will be impacted. Above are the proposed program cuts. Keep in mind that this is the beginning of a process and nothing is set yet. It’s baffling that this glaring problem has been kicked down the road for years and years.
  • πŸ’‰The kid vaccine is now available. πŸ’‰ Walgreens, Kaiser and the SF Dept of Public Health are now scheduling appointments to vaccinate 5-11 year olds against COVID-19. We hear that other hospitals are also working on getting ready to launch their respective vaccination locations soon, so stay tuned.
  • Confusion over vax proof for little kids in SF. Earlier this week, at a townhall on the kid vaccine, an SF Department of Health leader said that the city will require kids ages 5-11 to show proof of vaccination to go to indoor locations and events no sooner than eight weeks after the vaccine becomes available. Our eyebrows shot up in alarm, to say the least; what sane city imposes rules like this on little kids barely able to remember to wipe their butts or tie their shoes 😬?? We have since clarified with the SF Department of Public Health that they meant to say:
    • “We will reexamine the City’s vaccination and masking requirements in the Health Officer orders once children under 12 have had adequate time to become vaccinated. As with children 12-17 who may not have personal identification, we will follow the same approach with the younger kids such that they would not be penalized for not having an ID.” As a reminder, vaccination will be a requirement at schools next year.
  • Racist & pornographic attacks on SFUSD Equity Audit Committee. SFUSD released a statement here on the recent events, and we agree. Racist slurs and pornographic image attacks are unacceptable. Let’s all be here for all the kids in SFUSD and bring our best selves to every discussion. Even the heated ones.
 

Events

Why and How to Bring the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy into Every Classroom

Weds 11/10, 6:30 pm: SF Parents & Decoding Dyslexia CA welcomes LiteracyHow’s Margie Gillis to talk about how district’s can bring the science of reading into their practices to improve outcomes for kids. Facilitated by school administrator Nancy Bui.
  • Weds 11/17, 5 pm: Join SFUSD & SF Parents for an info session with SFUSD leadership on early literacy at SFUSD. Dr. Priestly (Chief Academic Officer) and Dr. Ford-Morthel (Deputy Supt of Instruction) will address parent and community questions around how are we doing as a district, what efforts are underway to improve reading outcomes for kids, and how can we do better. RSVP here.
  • Check out our calendar for a list of all upcoming events. See something missing? Let us know by emailing hello@sfparents.org.

SF Parents had a great time connecting with over a thousand families at the Great Hauntway this past weekend for Halloween fun!

 

In The News