#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.