Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SFUSD Press release: Board of Education Adopts Budget for 2010-11 School Year

June 23, 2010 (San Francisco) – Last night the San Francisco Board of Education unanimously approved its budget for the 2010-2011 school year.

Facing an estimated $113 million deficit from the state of California over the next two years, district officials have worked with its unions, staff and community since January to draft a budget that cuts across the district in several areas including four furlough days, reduced central office expenditures, and delayed repairs to some facilities.

Board of Education president Jane Kim thanked the SFUSD community for their input. “The public really pitched in - they attended our forums, organized their own forums, and gave us really great input, recommendations and even research that helped us tremendously.”

During community budget forums to discuss how to deal with the cuts, district officials learned from parents and guardians that they did not want to see class sizes increase, a cost-cutting measure chosen by many other school districts facing similar budget crises. Instead, SFUSD and the teachers union (UESF) negotiated four furlough days for next year, when schools and district offices will be closed. These unpaid days off, which will save the district approximately $5.7 million, shortens the school year to 176 days. Central office administrators and principals will be taking an additional unpaid day.

Other cuts include staff and non-personnel cuts in central office, fewer paid professional development days for teachers, reduced summer school classes, and a reduction in bus transportation. (See following pages for a summary of cuts.)

Because of these and other cuts, layoffs for teachers and administrators were reduced from a possible 700 to under 200.

Some schools will see less funding for arts and physical education classes because this year the state allowed those earmarked funds to be redirected to the general fund. However, thanks to the Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF), which is a separate voter-approved fund, most schools will keep some arts and physical education staffing in place.

“This has been by far the toughest year I have ever had as an educator and administrator,” said Superintendent Carlos Garcia. “We’ve been dealt a bad hand from the state, but we got this done.”

Garcia, several other school districts as well as students and parents recently filed a historic lawsuit against the state of California requesting that the current education finance system be declared unconstitutional and that the state be required to establish a school finance system that provides all students an equal opportunity to meet the academic goals set by the state.

47 comments:

  1. Isn't the money from PEEF supposed to pay for arts and sports in EVERY school? How can it be that these things will only exist at some schools? Where is all the PEEF money going, if not to the things voters were told it would be used for?

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  2. “This has been by far the toughest year I have ever had as an educator and administrator,” said Superintendent Carlos Garcia. “We’ve been dealt a bad hand from the state, but we got this done.”

    I said it before and I will say it again. The terrible budget notwithstanding, it was Carlos Garcia and the BOE that failed last year to take the newly flexible categorical funds and apply them to the general fund in order to save essential jobs. They do not want to talk about this oversight which is tantamount to negligence given the warnings from the CDE to take advantage of the flexibility in SBX 3_4. Instead SFUSD sat back on its laurels and did nothing to prepare for this year's onslaught. Then we have Garcia putting all the blame on the State. No doubt, the state fiscal issues comprise the great majority of the district's troubles, but to the extent that SFUSD could do anything about it, they utterly failed. All they had to do was cancel some of the less important Tier III Cat programs ans we would have saved several million for the general fund and classroom teacher positions.

    On another note, I heard but haven't yet confirmed that SFUSD cancelled busing for high school next year. How can the district have an SAS that sends students across town to attend school, but at the same time, provides no busing? Muni is dangerous and unreliable and some can't afford a car or are unable to make the trip before work. It is just amazing to me how utterly incompetent is the leadership.

    In the meantime they are boycotting Arizona for an immigration policy that is waker than the federal policy that allows police officers to investigate immigration status without cause. So why not boycott the whole country?

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  3. MUNI is not dangerous, it is a convenient and environmentally friendly way for high school students to get to school. I will gladly use MUNI to bring my 5-year-old to kindergarten this year and consider it a miniscule price to pay to keep our valuable teachers on the payroll.

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  4. How much of the SFUSD budget goes to paying pensions to retired teachers?

    The Chron reported yesterday that spending is around $10,000 per student. I had though it was only around $7,000.

    Payments to retired school teachers bankrupted the Richmond School District a few years ago, and I wonder it this is part of our own budget woes.

    Also, a touchy subject, I know, but why is so much money mandated to special ed kids? The spending on them is huge.

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  5. 10:37,

    Your MUNI line might be OK but I wouldn't take the 3rd Street line from where I live to take my kid to school. Some MUNI lines are NOT save. So please don't assume that just because your line is safe that they are all safe!

    If you don't believe me, take the 3rd Street line from downtown to the end at around 7 or 8 at night and let me know how safe you feel. And as for why a kid would need to take a bus that late, it would be due to possibly attending after school activities which maybe need to get into a good college.

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  6. I commute to work on the MUNI, but the idea that all MUNI lines are safe is naive. Our HS daughter encountered violent fights and was subject to stalking on the 22-Fillmore.

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  7. I know a guy in his 40s who was almost killed after confronting kids who were tagging a MUNI bus with magic markers. They followed him off the bus near Union Square at 8 a.m. and threw him through a shop window and then kicked him repeatedly in the head. For the most part, MUNI can be relatively safe, but I wouldn't want to put my kid on there unless I had to.

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  8. "In the meantime they are boycotting Arizona for an immigration policy that is weaker than the federal policy that allows police officers to investigate immigration status without cause."

    Yes, it is very elitist. SB1070 is no different than the same identification checking that most countries use to confirm legal access to schools, healthcare and social services. Without it, we are pretty much condoning and having to pay for an open border policy with the world.

    Is France racist for it's immigration policy? Is Canada racist for it's immigration policy? They check ID there.

    Perhaps we should worry about our own problems, without getting into Arizona's business.

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  9. 4:51,

    I so agree with you!

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  10. 2:35, 3:36 and 4:11,

    MUNI hasn't been safe for a long time. I use to ride it as a child. I saw muggings, people smoking pot, people stealing, people fighting and most not following the rules. This dates back to the 70 and 80's! I won't take MUNI unless it is a last resort. I have paid for taxis rather than take MUNI. The drivers are ineffective and can be just as rude as some of the passengers. Channel 7 did a whole by line on the MUNI drivers that were abusive to passengers. The even got the drivers on tape yelling, insulting and assaulting passengers. Guess what happen to them, NOTHING!

    So with passengers and drivers like that, I have boycotted MUNI since the early 80's. Luckily, I drive and have a car. Yes, I'd rather pay for parking than take MUNI.

    Here is the link:

    http://iteamblog.abc7news.com/2008/05/1-muni-driver-f.html

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  11. @4:51:

    its = possessive (I took my car to the mechanic for repairs, but if its engine must be rebuilt I will have to scrap it.)

    it's - contraction for "it is" (It's a great car, but I can't afford a new engine.)

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  12. STRS (State Teachers Retirement System) has not been doing terribly well but has nowhere near the problems PERS has had. There does appear to be a funding gap, but legal findings on the gap appear to suggest that school districts have been underpaying. Teachers pay a percentage of their salary and forgo all Social Security benefits, including any they earned themselves and survivors' benefits.

    I'm fairly sure that Richmond's issue was around health benefits to retirees, which is a perk but not a statewide pension funding issue. Districts and municipalities have different policies on retirement benefits.

    A web search suggests that any educators earning huge pension checks are retired high-level administrators, which makes sense. Pensions are paid out based on one's salary; a teacher in SFUSD will top out at $82,000.

    I am leery of anti-pension or pension underfunding hysteria for many reasons. Personally, it concerns me that many workers have limited prospects for retirement. 401Ks are not foolproof and employer contributions are way down. Social Security is not enough to support anything but the most frugal of lifestyles - and that's if you have housing.

    I think all workers should have pensions. As a teacher, I am paid significantly less than someone with my academic credentials, publications and work experience would be in other fields. In exchange, I have a reasonably robust retirement program.

    Beyond that, PERS and STRS have both struggled due to investment choices not made by their members. PERS took an enormous hit from Enron, for instance. And many of the corporations and investment firms that discover huge pension issues are the same firms that are failing to fund their own workers' retirements while providing golden parachutes for their top managers. This is a conflict of interest.

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  13. 2:35 PM

    In any case, the school would not be providing buses at 7-8 PM to return the kids from their afterschool activity

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  14. I have seen the police in France stop black and middle eastern types only. My husband is middle eastern, but looks europeon, so he is never stopped, but his country men are stopped all the time in France. Racist? I would say yes.

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  15. 8:10 AM:

    Thank you for correcting my it's.

    It may surprise you to know that I say the mistake the moment I posted.

    However, I was running out the door to summer camp pick up as I posted.

    I'm sure having the chance to fix an it's error made you feel quite superior.

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  16. "401Ks are not foolproof and employer contributions are way down. "

    Perhaps you are unaware that, for those working in the private sector, there have been no employer contributions to most 401K plans for years (more than ten.)

    Companies don't feel compelled to pay for such plans and are always weighing the possibility of outsourcing to China to cut their labor costs down to benefit free, 12 hour work day, and $1 per day amounts.

    Many jobs at flagship California companies such as Apple, HP and Intel use this technique to undermine benefits and wage levels.

    So the thought of getting ANY contribution to a 401K plan is a thing of the past.

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  17. Actually, members of my family still have employer contributions to their 401Ks. Private companies differ; overall, fewer workers are receiving employer contributions.

    I don't disagree that 401Ks are a problematic "solution" to retirement.

    The race to the bottom of the wage floor is a tragedy. We do not solve that tragedy by giving up pensions, workers' rights or environmental protections to corporations, though. Nor does such a course of action support workers in other nations.

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  18. @9:23:

    No, correcting errors does not make me feel superior. It concerns me that the particular error you made is so widespread, and I think that is sad.

    Similarly, while I firmly disagree with you on immigration, SB1070 et al. (and dispute your contention that France's immigration policy is viewed as race-neutral), I do not feel superior to you. I feel sad that immigration policy has become such a racist minefield.

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  19. The problem is defined-benefit pension plans.

    Jeff Adachi and the controllers office both say the City (which has been upping payments into the city pension fund of $30 million a year) will soon use around 20% of its budget to pay retirees. This is unsustainable.

    But at least the city is disclosing the facts. I haven't been able to read anything about the percentage of SFUSD revenues going into pension payments.

    We have a right to know.

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  20. MUNI:
    My 6th-grade rode the bus all the way across town on MUNI to attend middle school in 2009-2010 without any problems. I wasn't worried in the least.

    Those of us who use public transportation regularly feel pretty safe. MUNI is not always on time, but it isn't overwhelmed by muggers and drug dealers.

    I suggest that you give up your car and try it for yourself.

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  21. Why should any child be required to travel across town to go to public school? It creates great hardship for thousands of families, but what value has it been shown to provide for those who don't do so voluntarily?

    SFUSD changed the student assignment system because the consent decree order ran out, the policy wasn't working to create diversification and it was extremely unpopular. The community outreach as part of the SAS development process demonstrated overwhelming support for neighborhood schools. If SFUSD leaders would have listened to the majority of families they would have employed a true neighborhood school policy. Right now, under the new policy for elementary, students with preferences, and there will be large percentages of them, bump neighborhood kids. Those kids are suppose to go to the next closest school or the one after that. It is easy to see the problem here. Will the bumped kids displace the neighborhood kids for the next school? And will those bumped in turn bump others? I am predicting that this new policy at the ES level will create absolute chaos and will fail miserably. With all the effort put into it i do not think simple and plaind logic ruled the day. In the end too many competing forces combined to create a compromise that is unlikely to work.

    Also, it isn't necessary to correct grammar on a blog. Most mistakes are just typos and if not this is not the appropriate forum for grammar instruction.

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  22. While I am sure that some people who support the Arizona law are racist, other's are simply concerned about the effect of uncontrolled overimmigration.

    We have a terrible economy and employment situation for American workers, who have little negotiation power to push for better wages and benefits.

    Low skill jobs used to provide teenagers with entry level jobs and wages to get through univeristy. These jobs are now almost exclusively taken by recent immigrants. Spanish is the working language at McDonalds.

    Every political decision is now gaged to win the Latino vote, whether or not it hurts our economy, our schools or our environment.

    Yesterday morning, I was listening to an NPR program. It was about the whooping cough epidemic that we currently have in the State. It's the first time that whooping cough has appeared in 50 years. The speakers on the program concurred that the epidemic has hit at a very high rate in the state's Latino population. However, they could not bring themselves to admit that the vaccination rate for recent non-English speaking Latino immigrants is less than 70%. (Compared to over 95% for non-immigrants.)

    Accusations of racism and ignorance are so frequently leveled that what almost everyone knows to undermine or way of life, our jobs, our environment, our schools and our economy, never appears in the mainstream press.

    And our politicians are more than happy to propagate myths about the injustice of stopping illegal immigration, in order to garner political favor with the rapidly expanding Latino population.

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  23. 10:22,

    I have tried MUNI for over 20 years I rode MUNI. That is why the whole system disgust me. There are vagrants and drunks on it. The police that are suppose to do ride along won't even do them. MUNI in the SE is disguising and dangerous. Not all of us are even remotely enamored with MUNI and the some of the drivers are disgraceful. Did you not bother looking at the link. As for paying for buses late; yes, the school district doesn't pay for late buses but even in some areas, the buses are not safe in the early afternoon. They now have police patrolling the 3rd Street line due to the violence. Not all people that go to schools in the city live in the lovely enclave that you do! Some of us have to traverse more dangerous parts of the city. Hence my comment to ride the T-line in the evening. Dare you?

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  24. "Every political decision is now gaged to win the Latino vote, whether or not it hurts our economy, our schools or our environment."

    Exactly! That's why Obama is doing little to answer Arizona's call for help. He is using the potential for Federal aid as a bargaining chip for comprehensive immigration reform - code for amnesty. He is also betting that nonaction will win him Latino votes in the mid-term election. Many Latinos are conservative by nature and do not support his liberal agenda for America. Being hispanic does not necessarily equate into a vote for an open border.

    Regarding Muni, how anyone can live in this city and claim that Muni is safe is beyond me.

    We should have neighborhood schools because they are first and foremost child and family centered. And they will also increase diversity in the SE where populations are largely equally split between Asians, Hispanics and frican Americans. Neighborhood schools bring the community together and make it easier for families and CBOs to get involved in the education of the resident students.

    With decreases in SFUSD busing any former mariginal assistance with diversity is likely to fade further. But it was minimal at best anyway. Most families and students prefer to go to school close to home when possible and only opted for alternative schools that were at nearby neighborhoods. Therein lies the problem - many areas simply don't have enough seats to accomodate the neighborhood students - an unfortunate result of the racialist policies of SFUSD which closed down school under the pretense of economy.

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  25. I'm in favor of neighborhood schools whether they increase diversity or not. Why does diversity have to be the acid test for a workable student assignment system? The Supreme Court has already made it clear that it is not the responsibility of a school district to parcel out students evenly according to race. It is their responsibility to parcel out resources evenly and that is what we should be doing.

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  26. I note that you either ignore or miss the underlying question:

    Why does the vaccination rate vary among socioeconomic groups?

    I have no data - no reliable data collected by demographic and medical researchers, as opposed to thrown up on a website affiliated with Stormfront - on the vaccination rate among groups.

    However, it's easy to suggest reasons for a lowered rate among certain communities:

    1. Do residents know a vaccine is available/needed?
    2. Is the vaccine affordable for all?
    3. Do residents have reason to fear contact with authorities?

    I could go on. Moreover, California requires children to be vaccinated/have a filed excuse before entering school, and children are excluded if their health files are not complete.

    I would also note that just a couple of years ago, it was leprosy that white supremacists were warning us about - that it was traveling with undocumented immigrants. Moreover, whooping cough spikes every few years; in 2005 there was an epidemic. As yet, the current spike is not that much worse. Save your hysteria for topics deserving it.

    I have no interest in disputing your low-knowledge view of the American labor market, other than to say that it is sad when workers turn against each other rather than against those who cause the race to the bottom: employers. Other than that, your conclusions have been repeatedly questioned and found lacking by any number or researchers.

    And while I'm at it:

    other's = possessive
    gaged = it is a variant of "gauged", but a (very) archaic one.

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  27. Teachers have a defined-benefit pension. It is not the same as the City's pension. Adachi's pension tweaks would not change the defined-benefit aspect.

    The primary reason for failure of major defined-benefit pensions (like the airlines') is that corporations have been using them as a cash cookie jar. Then they expect the government guarantee to bail them out. This is not possible. Pensions fail. Workers lose out. The media explains how pensions are dooming us all. Fewer workers have pension benefits. We all work for less until we die. Corporations win.

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  28. Don,

    The diversity factor that SFUSD is trying to increase in the SE schools has nothing to do with race. It has to do with social economic factors. Many kids in the SE are in the worst of the worst shape. The yave horrible home environments or can barely speak English.

    So parents like me, that live in the SE do not want to send our kids to these schools. We will go private rather than send our kids to schools these hot beds of anarchy. Yes, I've gone to one of these schools. So I know what they are like. I will not send my innocent child there. The main force behind neighborhood schools are people that have good or great schools in their neighborhood. People like me, that would get stuck with one of the worst schools in the city, are not behind the effort. We also want what is best and the best the city can offer us, is terrible!

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  29. 10:05 AM:

    The information regarding the vaccination rate of all publics schools in California is a matter of public record on the Immunization branch of the California Department of Public Health. I'm not interested in any Stormfront website.

    However, I do find it disturbing when NPR makes a false statement that affects public health. Contrary to their statements on the Friday program, the epidemic of whooping cough is highly associated with the lower rate of vaccination in non-English speaking Latinos.

    Clearly, they are afraid to directly state this, as of course, people like you would immediately accuse them of being associated with a white supremist movement.

    You can check the official data yourself:

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/
    immunize/Documents/2009SchoolIZRateTable1.pdf

    Anyone can check the demographic composition of any school in California using the greatschools.com website.

    Here is the demographic data for the six schools in San Francisco with the lowest vaccination rates:

    CESAR CHAVEZ ELEM 75% vaccination rate
    85% Latino
    (75% English Language Learners)

    DANIEL WEBSTER ELEM 73% vaccination rate
    49% Latino, 24% AA
    (40% are English Language Learners)

    GEORGE W. CARVER ELEM 64%
    68% AA, 17% South Pacific Islander

    JOSE ORTEGA ELEM 70% vaccination rate
    32% Asian, 28% AA, 13% Latino

    MALCOLM X ACAD 58% vaccination rate
    51% AA 25% South Pacific Islander

    MISSION ED. CTR. 76% vaccination rate
    98% Latino
    (100% English Language Learners)

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  30. "Moreover, whooping cough spikes every few years; in 2005 there was an epidemic."

    That's a false statement. Until the 2005 epidemic, pertussis was thought to be almost eliminated in the US. You can listen to the NPR show yourself. At least they got that part right.

    I'm not particularly concerned about whooping cough. What concerns me is that radical and accusing voices like your's prevent any rational or honest discussion about the costs to our society regarding overimmigration.

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  31. Anybody know where we can find information about what % of SFUSD revenues go to paying underfunded pension for retired teachers?

    We need disclosure here.

    In the city of San Francisco, City hall has had to up its payments to cover underfunded pension cost by around $30 million a year. This is one reason we have had to cut Park & Rec services.

    Same with the state of California. CALPERS went begging for $2 billion this year to cover its underfunded pension obligations.

    The Public-Sector Unionocracy needs to be reigned in.

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  32. Defined-pensions are the problem.

    If you guarantee retired workers 8%growth in their annual pension payments, eventually regular services will have to be cut to cover retirement costs.

    I would like to know if this is happening at SFUSD.

    (Policemen in Oakland pay absolutely nothing into their retirement plans).

    Adachi wants to start making city workers pay 5%, which isn't asking for much. He points out, and rightly so, that pension obligations are starving city services.

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  33. "In the city of San Francisco, City hall has had to up its payments to cover underfunded pension cost by around $30 million a year. This is one reason we have had to cut Park & Rec services."

    "Same with the state of California. CALPERS went begging for $2 billion this year to cover its underfunded pension obligations."

    Yes.

    This year, I went to many of the public meetings regarding cuts to our state parks.

    The California State Parks Foundation has quite a bit of economic data, which shows how the education budget continually draws funds away from other state budget requirements.

    I'm not sure how much of the education budget goes toward pensions. Frankly, I do think that teachers deserve and should have a pension, although I think the terms of retirement that allow a teacher to retire before 60 year of age are much too lenient.

    I also would like to see a breakdown of how much of our education dollars are going toward pensions.

    If your interested in State Parks, please tell your local state representatives that you support the California State Parks Initiative:

    http://www.calparks.org/

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  34. And for the spelling wonks, that's you're and not your.

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  35. "Contrary to their statements on the Friday program, the epidemic of whooping cough is highly associated with the lower rate of vaccination in non-English speaking Latinos."

    ...And then your data don't support your point. Two of the six schools are majority of AA's, one has a plurality of Asians followed by AAs, and Mission Ed Center is tiny. This seems like a poverty access to healthcare issue for these schools, which are majority low-SES schools.


    I'll also note that the private Waldorf school in the East Bay has a lower pertussis vaccination rate (50%) than any of these, and regularly has pertussis outbreaks.

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  36. 11:09,

    The court ruled in the Ho case that the district could not use race as a factor, but SES is just a proxy for race, especially in SF. So let's not waste time talking about a nonissue. You are not in the public school system at present and we don't have neighborhood schools, so what SAS do you support? It certainly couldn't be the all choice system that was just voted out which apparently didn't benefit you.

    Many Asian and AA groups from BVHP have banded together to support neighborhood schools and the prospective measure. Why? Because they want to work collectively to build up good schools in their own neighborhoods. They don't want to travel across town just to find an acceptible school or go to private. They believe that they can create the impetus to drive reform among the low end schools if they can keep families from abandoning their neighborhoods for other schools. That system has push too many kids out of public schools to the detriment of SFUSD as a whole. It has to stop somewhere.

    How can liberal minded people support a system that sells out the poorest areas of the city under the banner of "diversity"? Everyone would perfer to go to a good local school than to travel across town to do so. SFUSD, in a failed effort to prevent segregation, has largely succeeded in depriving the most needy neighborhoods of schools. And under Obama's plan and the fiscal turmoil, they will get the political cover to close even more schools unless we stop them. Every child should be able to attend a good school close to home. And now under SFUSD's new and dramatically limited transportation schedule you might as well kiss goodbye to the idea of a "free public education for all".

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  37. 9:38 AM:

    The statement that NPR made that vaccination rates in Latino populations are the same as everyone else is false.

    The fact that vaccination rates are also low in some private schools and some schools with dominant poor AA populations does not excuse NPR's mistatement.

    Given the fact that all five 2009/2010 infant deaths as well as the majority of whooping cough cases are in Latino populations, you would expect someone to have the courage to state that vaccination rates are too low in Latino populations.

    As with discussions about the environment, energy needs, underfunded schools, and our overburdened healthcare system, misinformation on pertussis vaccination is yet another example of how objective examination of the costs and impacts of overimmigration are obliterated by weak arguments, accusations of racism and attempts to sow doubt.

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  38. The vaccination rates at schools like Waldorff are due to the belief among many alternative health advocates that vaccines are bad for you. This is partially due to their disbelief in anything having to do with the medical establishment and the debunked notion that mercury in vaccines causes autism.

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  39. Don,

    You are mistaken. I am in the public school system and will be so for probably more than a decade. I, however, would not send my child to my "local" school? Why? Because it is a terrible school? I was luck to get a good/fair school in the lottery system which though broken, did families like mine some opportunity to give our children a fair education.

    I have not seen nor heard, as you note, parents in the BV/HP banning together to make the schools better. In fact, that was one of the reasons we decided that the "local" school was not a good school, that and the abysmal scores. I have found few families that were interested in PTA events or volunteering at schools. Which is why we are so happy at our "non-local" school. The PTA is very involved and the parents are constantly volunteering and grandparents too.

    Yes, everyone would love a good local school but when one doesn't exist and will not exist, then you are forcing parent, like me, that have a choice to not attend a public schools, unless we can get into a non-local school. I don't know what the answer is but forcing families into schools that they find unacceptable is also unacceptable. "local" schools will do. I will not send my child into a bad school and there are plenty in the city, especially where I happen to live.

    The SES is not an indicator of race. Some may claim it is but one only has to look at schools like Jean Parker and even Visitation Valley to know that there are a fair number of Asian children, in the city, that are poor.

    As for busing, I have not used the school bus and even if one were available, I would not avail myself of it because I don't trust that there is sufficient over site during the bus ride. But for those families that depend on it, it will be a huge blow and will definitely limit the school choices but really does it even matter with parents like you pushing for only "local" schools anyway? What would be the point of buses if we can't even get into a good school because of where we live? So unless, you can make families care about education, the SFUSD must make good schools available for families that really do want a good school for their children and not force them into the "local" school just because that is the policy. Yes, some people don't care what school they get into. I have seen parent so uninvolved that they barely can gather the effort to sign their kid up for school.

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  40. 10:29,

    I acknowledge and agree with your unwillingness to send your child to a underperforming school or to have him or her ride the bus. II would not do so either.

    I think you misunderstand me. Under any neighborhood system that I would support families would have the opportunity to opt out of their local school. But there is no way to get everyone what they want when what everyone wants is the same limited group of coveted or acceptible schools, short of increasing the number of such schools or decreasing the number of applicants, the latter of which will only result in more middle class families deserting the public schools and downgrading the District as a whole.

    You have to increase the supply of good schools and when it comes to policy that is what SFUSD's main goal should be. Instead all the talk is about diversity as if diversity in itself is the answer to this overriding issue of supply and demand.

    When I said that groups were banning together I should have been more specific. At a rally in the BV for the neighborhood schools measure community groups and politicos from the area crossed ethnic lines to collectively support the measure. The idea being that every neighborhood deserves to have good schools and that if they work together towards this end there is some hope of achieving it. If, on the other hand, SFUSD closes more schools under RTTT and Program Improvement there is NO chance have creating neighborhood schools of quality because there won't be any schools at all. And in fact in many areas there is already a tremendous dirth of school seats relative to student population.

    Choice is a requirement of law so it is not going away nor should it.
    What would happen if families from your neighborhood could ban together to create their own schools in the model of their choosing? Why shouldn't neighborhood groups be able to create schools that meet the needs of their constituents? We are in an era of tremendous upheaval and we have to seize the moment build something sustainable, not just be satisfied with the scraps or the acceptible school. I recodnize that is easier said than done. But that's the only way. We have to rebuild the institution of public educationb one school at a time.

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  41. Some people move into low priced neighborhoods and use the savings to go private, an opti on they wanted anyway. Then they complain about the lack of good schools in their area. Don't move to a crappy neighborhood if you're jusy going to complain about the schools there.

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  42. Um, 7:20, my neighborhood of million-plus dollar homes has schools I'm not positive I can send my kid to. We live here because we moved in 15 years ago. But the increase in property values doesn't mean we could sell our place, buy in Lafayette or wherever, and pay the property taxes on a new place. We don't have the income for the property taxes, even if we bought a place in cash. So here we are, and I fully plan to drive outside my neighborhood to a decent school.

    And why would people intending from the get-go to go private complain about the lack of good publics in their area? That makes no sense.

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  43. Next year, no school buses provided for middle schools as well as for high schools?

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  44. Don can yammer on all he wants about neighborhood schools, but it won't make any difference. So discussing it is pretty much a waste of time, unless that is your hobby. If you are in a CTIP 1 zone, you have a good chance of getting a good school. So those of you who live in not-so-great neighborhoods will still benefit from being in those neighborhoods.

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  45. "So those of you who live in not-so-great neighborhoods will still benefit from being in those neighborhoods."

    Not so much, since the best schools will have attendance area priority, whereas most of our good schools (because they are immersion) will be available to all a city-wide lottery. And very few of the neighborhoods in SF (Bernal, Excelsior, Glen Park, etc.) where middle-class people could afford to move some years ago are actually CTIP 1. So we and our lower-income neighbors now get priority at neither our neighborhood schools nor those of the rich neighborhoods. Nice try at pseudo-sympathy, though.

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  46. attendance area is not the same as neighborhood

    you can live in Hunter's Point and have Lilienthal be your attendance area school in your "zone"

    but nice try at twisting the truth

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  47. 7:20,

    What a @ss you are. I purchased my home in Feb. 1993. I was not married, hadn't even meet my husband, and no kids. I wasn't thinking about children and definitely not about schools. How short sited of me! @ss!

    No, I can't just sell my home and move. I now couldn't afford a home in a pricer area and definitely not the taxes.

    Don,

    No, I don't agree about making the neighborhood schools better. Why? Most of the people with children that live in my surrounding neighborhood are so impoverished that they can't do much. They have little to no time to volunteer, many don't speak the language and there are cultural issues involved. No, don't blast me for being racist. These are Asian families I am referring too. Wow! How do I know this? Think...maybe I might be Asian.

    There are also a considerable amount of low income Hispanic and Black families.

    The low income is not really the issue, the lack of care and concern for schools and schooling is the concern. I have not seen the BV or HP come together as a group and be concerned about schools. And even if a small number of parents are concerned, it doesn't change the fact that the schools that are there are the worst of the worst. Unless, some of the cultural norms and social issues are address, these schools will continue to be the worst of the worst.

    I also don't believe the lip service about being able to chose non neighborhood schools for those that don't want their neighborhood schools. It is not likely that someone like me, that has NO diversity factors to be able to side step the under performing neighborhood schools. Why? Because SFUSD drools at trying to force families, like mine, to attend the "local" school for their own need for diversity which in that case would be a nice middle class family that doesn't have a diversity factor. SFSUD has been trying to do this for decades. I know because I was one of their victims in the 70's. So no, I don't believe that neighborhood schools are the answer either.

    Sorry, have to go back to work now.

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