POLICY

In our PPS-SF policy work we: Monitor and synthesize Board of Education and other policy focused meetings; Design and facilitate community meetings; Collect public opinion data; and Inform decision makers.
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#BoardWatch Recap: February 14, 2017 SFUSD Board of Education Meeting

posted Feb 15, 2017, 9:18 PM by Miranda Martin

#BoardWatch Preview: Regular Board Meeting Tuesday, February 14; Curriculum Committee Thursday, February 16.

posted Feb 14, 2017, 3:12 PM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Feb 14, 2017, 4:40 PM ]

Two meetings this week for the SFUSD Board of Education.  Tuesday night the SFUSD Board of Education will hold a regular meeting and Thursday the Curriculum and Program Committee will meet. Click the links to see agendas for these meetings.

Highlights: 

  • Board of Education Meeting: Tuesday February 14 @ 6PM in the Board Room
    • The board will hear from advisory councils, and vote on four resolutions tonight.
      • Agenda 
      • The Parent Advisory Council and Citizens Bond Oversight Committee will report.
      • The following resolutions are up for a vote:
        • A resolution approving the Parental Involvement Policy for Civic Center Secondary school: this is a policy required for any school receiving Title 1 federal funds.
        • A resolution modifying the graduation requirements for students in County and continuation high schools. The changes allow more flexibility in required coursework for students attending these schools. These schools serve as a safety net for students who have not been well served in traditional district schools and students in the juvenile justice system.
        • A resolution protecting the rights of undocumented students. This resolution codifies the commitment of SFUSD to the education of all immigrant children and provides specific policy for schools to follow including prohibiting the recording or maintenance of citizenship status; the disclosure of real or perceived citizenship status and removing birthplace from directory information.
        • A resolution brought by Commissioners Murase and Wynns commemorating the Korean War Memorial and encouraging related curriculum.
  • Curriculum and Program Committee meeting: Thursday February 16 @ 6:00PM in the Board Room
    • Topics to be discussed include:
      • The School Quality Improvement Index: last year's data is here.
      • Computer Science (SFUSD has made a commitment to provide computer science instruction for all students)
      • Digital Promise (1:1 technology pilot; collaboration with Verizon)
      • Language Pathways (Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin)
      • Adding information to the curriculum about the history of "comfort women" during WWII (required by a resolution passed by the board)
    • Action Items: 
      • The committee will take a position on three proposed resolutions: approving a work experience eduction plan; approving the renewal of the charter for Leadership High, and commemorating the Korean War Memorial and encouraging related curriculum 
  • You can access podcasts of regular and committee meetings. Recordings are usually posted a few days after the meeting. Regular board meetings are broadcast on KALWSFGOVTV2, and via live webcast.
  • There is always an opportunity for public comment on the items discussed at the committee meeting or topics that fall under the purview of this committee. Usually it is not necessary to sign up in advance - speakers will be called to the podium when the chair determines it is time for public comment.

#BoardWatch Preview: SFUSD Board of Education Committee Meetings this Week: Rules on Monday and Committee of the Whole on Tuesday

posted Feb 6, 2017, 2:52 PM by Miranda Martin

Two meetings this week for the SFUSD Board of Education.  Monday night the Rules, Policy and Legislation committee meeting is scheduled and Tuesday the board will meet as a Committee of the Whole. Click the links to see agendas for these meetings.

Highlights: 

  • Rules Policy and Legislation Committee : Monday February 6 @ 6PM in the Board Room
    • This committee is staffed by Commissioners Mark Sanchez (chair), Stevon Cook and Dr. Emily Murase. All the other commissioners are invited to attend and participate - but not vote on recommendations.
      • Agenda 
      • The committee will spend some time being briefed on legislation (typically at the state level) on which SFUSD is considering taking a position
      • The committee will also consider the policy implications of several proposed board resolutions, including one updating the board policy on the rights of undocumented students

  • Committee of the Whole: Tuesday February 7 @ 6:00PM in the Board Room
    • A Committee of the Whole is an opportunity for commissioners to meet to take a "deep dive" into a particular topic or to holistically discuss proposed resolution that would otherwise have been referred to 3 or more separate committees. The committee, which all commissioners are invited to attend and at which all commissioners vote, can make recommendations to be considered at a regular board meeting.
    • Topics to be discussed include:
      • Resolution proposed by Commissioners Haney, Walton, Zaragoza (student delegate) and Eng (student delegate): "Undocumented, Unafraid, and United Students" See full text here (pg. 23)
      • Update on Early Education
  • You can access podcasts of regular and committee meetings. Recordings are usually posted a few days after the meeting. Regular board meetings are broadcast on KALWSFGOVTV2, and via live webcast.
  • There is always an opportunity for public comment on the items discussed at the committee meeting or topics that fall under the purview of this committee. Usually it is not necessary to sign up in advance - speakers will be called to the podium when the chair determines it is time for public comment.

#BoardWatch Recap: SFUSD Board of Education Budget and Business Services Committee Meeting, February 1, 2017

posted Feb 2, 2017, 11:20 AM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Feb 2, 2017, 12:49 PM ]

The SFUSD Board of Education Budget and Business Services Committee meets most months on the first Wednesday of the month at 6PM. The most recent meeting focused on 1) looking at the fiscal impact of proposed board resolutions, 2) receiving an update on the student transportation system, and 3) reviewing budget projections from the state and discussing SFUSD priorities and possible tradeoffs for next year. A few high-level takeaways from the staff presentations and public comment:

Transportation Department Update

  • SFUSD transportation serves 3,500 students; 2000 general education students and 1,500 special education students who receive curb to curb service under the terms of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Bus transportation for general education students was reduced in 2010 amid budget shortfalls. Bus service was removed from 13 schools and reduced at others. Bus service that remains supports key priorities such as: maintaining diverse enrollments, providing transit to racially isolated schools, providing access to language programs for English Learners and newcomers. Seventy percent of busses serve four neighborhoods: Inner Mission, Bayview-Hunter's Point, Ingleside, and Vis Valley/Sunnydale.

  • Between 2010-11 and 2016-17 the budget for general education student transportation decreased by $1.4 million while spending on special education transportation increased by almost $10 million, while serving 7% fewer students. One reason given was an increase in students travelling to schools outside of SFUSD - in one case as far as Petaluma. Students used to travel to only 2-3 schools outside of the city, but now go to 22 different non-public schools outside of San Francisco

Update on the Governor's January Budget Proposal and Priorities and Tradeoffs

  • The proposed state budget for SFUSD is significantly lower than projected last year, only about enough to cover cost of living adjustments. Budget growth is expected to slow dramatically in the next four years while growth in costs will increase. SFUSD's required contribution to employee retirement plans will grow significantly each year under state mandate. A negotiated additional 2% salary increase this year raised the cost of salaries, benefits and retirement contributions.
  • Projected revenues in 2018-19 will not be enough to cover estimated expenditures and reserves.
  • SFUSD must find ways to balance the budget which may include scaling back programs, reducing positions, closing schools and/or seeking additional voter-approved funding.
  • Priorities for the district are "keeping the lights on," and supporting high need students and schools.
  • District leaders and board members will have discussions about potential cost savings and tradeoffs.
  • Initial school site and central office budgets will be released on February 17, 2017.  All budgets are due for review on March 24, 2017. The SFUSD Local Control and Accountability Plan (the state mandated accountability tool outlining district goals and how state funds will be spent) will be released for review and feedback on April 19, 2017 at a special public forum hosted by the Parent Advisory Council, Community Advisory Council for Special Education, District English Learner Advisory Committee and Student Advisory Council. Stay tuned for more details on time and location!
  • PPS-SF will be holding a public forum to give input on SFUSD priorities on March 6, 2017 at 10AM at City College, 1800 Oakdale Street in the Pitcher Community Room.  



What Could Trump's Administration Mean for Education in California and the SFUSD? Part 2

posted Feb 2, 2017, 8:38 AM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Feb 2, 2017, 11:51 AM by Maria Webster ]

In November we posted What Could the New Administration Mean for Education in California and the SFUSD?, responding to questions we received about impacts of some of then President-elect Donald Trump's policy proposals. Now that President Trump has been sworn into office we have an update: some new information on the topic of sanctuary cities.

What would the proposal to withhold all federal funds to sanctuary cities mean for San Francisco?
In November we responded to speculation about how Trump might fulfill his pledge to defund sanctuary cities like San Francisco, and noted that most federal funding to states and cities could not be cut without going through Congress. That is still the case; however, last week on January 25, 2017, Trump signed an executive order which included a provision ordering the attorney general to withhold federal grants to "sanctuary jurisdictions."  

How much is at stake?
Federal funds constitute $1.3 billion, or about 13%, of San Francisco's budget.

What does this mean for San Francisco?
We still don't know how this executive order will play out, but it looks like there may be a long battle in the courts. Mayor Ed Lee and SFUSD's Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh made statements following the release of Trump's executive order reconfirming their strong commitment to sanctuary city policies, regardless of this potential fiscal impact. On January 31, 2017, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit on behalf of the City of San Francisco against President Donald Trump, enumerating several reasons that the executive order and the immigration law it seeks to enforce should be declared unconstitutional and unenforceable. The suit also argues that, technically speaking, San Francisco is following the federal law on immigration and should not be subject to any withholding of funds, even if it was constitutional to do so. The main constitutional argument is made under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees state sovereignty and has been interpreted by courts to mean that the Federal Government cannot outsource its work to states or cities. This would include, according to the complaint, financially coercing a city into "imprisoning individuals at the request of the Federal government when these individuals would otherwise be released from custody."

It is likely to be some time before a final decision is made on the constitutionality of the executive order, but in the meantime, federal funds most at risk of being cut are those for three law enforcement programs administered by the Federal Government which could be cut without Congressional approval. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG), the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), all of which are administered by the Department of Justice. 

At the SFUSD Board of Education Budget and Business Services meeting on February 1, 2017, it was noted that "worst case scenario" options have not been projected by SFUSD. In other words, it is unclear what would happen if federal education funds were cut or drastically reduced from the current SFUSD budget. SFUSD received $28.7 million in federal funds this fiscal year, less than 3% of SFUSD's total operating budget. These funds are "restricted" and therefore must be used for specific programs, such as those supporting low income students, English learners, and students receiving special education services. SFUSD also receives about $500,000 in unrestricted federal funds, some of which are used to offset costs of Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs.

Here are some resources we found helpful on the issue of defunding sanctuary cities:

#BoardWatch Recap: SFUSD Board of Education January 31, 2017 Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment Meeting

posted Feb 1, 2017, 4:35 PM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Feb 2, 2017, 11:39 AM by Robin Dutton-Cookston ]

The SFUSD Board of Education Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment meets quarterly to monitor student assignment policy. The most recent meeting focused on 1) the middle school feeder system, 2) multilingual pathways, and 3) special education services. A few high-level takeaways from the staff presentations and public comment:
  • Our current middle school feeder system has physical capacity to accommodate all students from each elementary school at each middle school site.
  • There is not capacity in terms of accommodating programs, especially regarding the language programs. There are not enough foreign language teachers to accommodate the number of requests for the language program feeders, and this will need to be worked out before the feeder system is fully automatic. 
  • Language pathway programs are very popular. 40% of kindergarten applicants request a language program. The ongoing teacher staffing issue creates challenges for language programs in elementary, middle, and high school.
  • 11% of students in SFUSD have an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • A challenge for students with IEPs is the school assignment process. The various rounds cause children to have their transitional assessments later in the summer or after the start of the school year.
Please see a transcript of the full Twitter feed below. 


#BoardWatch Preview: SFUSD Board of Education Committee Meetings this Week: Monday, Building Grounds and Services; Tuesday Ad Hoc Student Assignment; Wednesday Budget

posted Jan 30, 2017, 11:38 AM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Jan 30, 2017, 3:26 PM ]

Three meetings this week for the SFUSD Board of Education.  Monday night the Buildings, Grounds and Services Committee is scheduled, Tuesday the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment reconvenes and Wednesday the Budget and Business Services Committee will meet.   Click the links to see agendas for these meetings.

Highlights: 

  • Augmented Buildings, Grounds and Services Committee : Monday January 30 @ 5PM in the Board Room
    • This committee is made up of Commissioners Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell (chair), Rachel Norton and Shamann Walton. All the other commissioners are invited to attend and participate - but not vote on recommendations.
    • Information and update on teacher-educator housing planning
    • Information and update on the Green School Yard Program and planning for the 2016 Bond Green School Yard Sites
    • Information and update on the proposal toiIssue 2016 Proposition A general obligation bonds
  • Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment: Tuesday January 31 @ 6:00PM in the Board Room
    • This committee is made up of Commissioners Dr. Emily Murase (chair), Matt Haney and Mark Sanchez. All the other commissioners are invited to attend and participate - but not vote on recommendations.
    • Topics to be discussed include:
      • Middle School Feeders
      • Multi-Lingual Pathways (including immersion and bi-literacy programs)
      • Special Education Services
  • Augmented Budget and Business Services Committee: Wednesday February 1 @ 6:30PM in the Board Room
    • This committee is made up of Commissioners Rachel Norton (chair), Matt Haney and Dr. Emily Murase. All the other commissioners are invited to attend and participate - but not vote on recommendations.
    • Topics to be discussed include: 
  • You can access podcasts of regular and committee meetings. Recordings are usually posted a few days after the meeting. Regular board meetings are broadcast on KALWSFGOVTV2, and via live webcast.
  • There is always an opportunity for public comment on the items discussed at the committee meeting or topics that fall under the purview of this committee. Usually it is not necessary to sign up in advance - speakers will be called to the podium when the chair determines it is time for public comment.

Preview: SFUSD Board of Education Regular Meeting January 24 @ 6PM

posted Jan 24, 2017, 3:29 PM by Miranda Martin

Highlights: 

  • Board of Education Meeting: Tuesday January 24 @ 6PM in the Board Room:  Meeting Agenda
    • The board will hear a report from the the Indian Education Program Parent Advisory Committee
    • The board will vote to adopt the Instructional Calendar for the 2017-18 school year
    • One resolution - a charter renewal petition for Leadership High will be introduced and assigned for discussion at committee. 
    • The Board will be asked to take immediate action on a resolution to rescind policies excluding students of Asian ancestry from SFUSD. A policy passed by the SFUSD school board in 1906 endorsed segregation of students of Japanese, Chinese and Korean decent to the "Oriental" school.  This 1906 policy has never been fully rescinded. The proposed action would rescind the 1906 policy and seeks to commemorate the district's progress from exclusion to diversity and inclusion. The proposed resolution also would challenge schools to increase the percentage of Asian-American instructional resources in libraries and promote professional development for teachers and staff on Asian-American history, recommended readings, student needs and community concerns.
    • There will be an opportunity for general public comment. Those who wish to speak should fill out a speaker card at the start of the meeting. Speaker cards can be found on the table in the entryway to the boardroom and turned in to Executive Assistant Esther Casco who sits near the podium.

  • The meeting is open to the public and you can also tune into the meeting live on KALW, via webcast, or on SFGOV TV 2. You can also view video of past meetings or access podcasts of regular and committee meetings. Recordings are usually posted a few days after the meeting.

  • Board of Education Augmented Ad Hoc Committee Meeting on Personnel/ Labor Matters/Affordability: Thursday January 26 @ 6PM in the Board Room: Meeting Agenda
    • The Committee will hear updates on investment in the certificated staff recruitment plan. Certificated staff include teachers or other staff with special credentials in their field, such as Nurses, Social Workers, or Speech Therapists.
    • An update will be given on the superintendent search

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