Series: School Site Councils & Your School’s Budget 1/3

WHO decides?

With school site budget cuts (sadly) in play thanks to the district-wide budget deficit, more parents are going to want to know who decides on the budget for your school.

SF Parents is going to post a small series over a few weeks breaking down the elements of the School Plan for Student Achievement, aka, the student academic and wellness plan that every SFUSD is required to make every year.

If you want to know how the big money is being spent at your school, and what the priorities and strategies are (e.g., what’s your reading program, math intervention program, etc), this is the place to look. That said, like any government doc, it’s not exactly accessible to anyone who doesn’t love wading through acronyms and general ledger speak. Hence, this series.

We’re using the SF Community Alternative K-8 SPSA as an example plan–shout out to SF Community!

This week: WHO is involved in making your school’s site budget? These are huge decisions, impacting every kid in the school, so it behooves everyone to know. Read the captions of the images to see the breakdown of how you can decode your own school’s plan, and then check out an overview and link to the full plan for every school here.

In Section 2 of every school’s plan, schools are required to say who was asked to participate in making the plan. The level of outreach varies tremendously by school. If you’re a member of one or more of the bodies mentioned, make sure this is actually true!

In Section 7, the School Site Council is required to confirm that they did outreach to particular groups, among other things. Again, if you’re a member of one or more of the bodies mentioned, make sure this is actually true! Do not assume this happened; many plans are submitted and approved as copy and paste jobs from the year before. (That said, this is in no way a suggestion that SF Community’s SSC is anything but thorough.)

At the very end of your school’s School Plan for Student Achievement, you can see the roster of everyone on your School Site Council. These are the folks who signed off on this document. If you’re on your SSC and your name is on your school’s document and you didn’t sign off on it, ask your principal why. This is also a great place to figure out who is on your School Site Council, if you don’t have access to the list anywhere else. We’ve blacked out the last names on this list out of courtesy, but these are public documents.