June 29, 2022
SF Parent Coalition supports the Student Success Fund Charter Amendment Proposal
In May, we learned of the Student Success Fund charter amendment proposal, introduced by Supervisor Ronen. We lifted up many questions and concerns raised by families, including many of you (thank you!), and brought to the authors suggestions for how the language could be strengthened in order to be more aligned, coherent, student outcomes-focused, and truly equitable–reaching the students who need these funds the most. You can find those initial parent questions and concerns listed here.
Since then, we’ve connected with Supervisor Ronen’s office, SFUSD Central Office, DCYF (the Department of Children, Youth, and Families), the Mayor’s Office, and a majority of our city’s district supervisors. Significant revisions have been made to the language, including those lifted up by families!, and we are excited about now supporting this proposal. This funding opportunity will bring significant funds to SFUSD students over twenty-five years, if it makes it onto the ballot this November and is passed by voters.
We applaud Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s leadership in developing and championing the Student Success Fund Charter Amendment. We support the Fund’s goal of directing this money to schools to improve academic achievement and social-emotional wellness, particularly to reach our students who are most in need of extra support. These dollars – excess Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds, or ERAF – were intended to go to our students, but have been diverted to the general fund for decades. San Francisco’s public school students need these funds now more than ever, with the district facing declining enrollment, regular deficits, and expenses associated with ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thrilled about the opportunity for SFUSD students to finally receive their fair share of ERAF dollars to support their education and well-being.
We appreciate that the final version of the Charter Amendment:
- Ensures equitable distribution of funds. We wholeheartedly support these dollars being directed to the students that need them the most. We want to ensure that these funds are accessible to students even those at schools that may not have the capacity to apply for and implement a complicated grant program. We appreciate that the authors worked with SF Parents to improve the language and make it more equitable for SFUSD students.
- Incorporates the school district as a key partner. We appreciate how much the authors have subsequently reached out to the new superintendent and school board, seeing this fund development as a partnership and something to build future, deeper collaboration between the City and the District.
- Provides sufficient flexibility regarding use of funds, so that the Student Success Fund will align with the district and schools’ broader vision for improving outcomes for students. Successful schools take an intentional, coherent approach to supporting students. We want to ensure that these grants give schools enough flexibility to spend the funds in ways that the school community – including families and caregivers – determine are best for meeting students’ needs.
- Incorporates accountability measures and requires reporting on impact and outcomes. Families and caregivers seek transparency and accountability regarding the effectiveness of this Fund, in order to ensure that funds are being used strategically, being applied to evidence-based instructional supports and supplemental programming that improves student academic and mental health outcomes over time.
We see our decision to support the Student Success Fund as part of our continuing agenda at SFParents: We view it as a positive step towards getting San Francisco’s schools on track towards excellence, and most importantly, getting these funds to the students who need them the most.