Friday, April 29, 2011

Rachel Norton: What an “all cuts” budget looks like

An excerpt from Rachel Norton's blog:
Just home from six-plus hours of committee meetings, the first of which was the City-School District Select committee held at City Hall in the gorgeous Board chamber....

Anyway, SFUSD Budget Director Reeta Madhaven led the Supervisors (Avalos, Chu and Cohen) and Commissioners (Fewer, Maufas and Norton) in a presentation of our steadily worsening budget outlook. We’d heard the presentation earlier this month in a Committee of the Whole, but familiarity does not make the numbers more palatable. Due to the failure of the legislature to put a tax extension on the ballot, we are left with two alternatives: the Governor’s original doom and gloom scenario from January (which we were calling “Scenario B” but is now our best-case scenario), requiring cuts of $330 per student, or $25 million, for 2011-12, and deeper cuts for 2012-13; OR an “all cuts” budget that could require cuts of $800 per student or more.
Read the full post


  1. SFUSD is not doing what other districts are doing by fully flexing the Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant to help mitigate loses in essential services district-wide. That amount (based upon this years numbers) of $36,645,876.00 divided by the published student population of 53,035 would yield $691 per pupil.

    SFUSD isn't flexing TIIBG at all. They don't want you to know this and that's why it avoided public comment on the matter by holding a vote last year at a special session instead of a regular session.

    SFUSD refuses to spread cuts out across the entire district and instead wants to keep the flexible funding for underperforming schools and force the middle to higher achieving schools to shoulder the bulk of the fiscal pain. This plays into Carlos Garcia's plan to lower the achievement gap. He has academic wiggle room at the top and is committed to raising the bottom at all costs, and I mean that literally.

    That is not what the Legislative Analyst Office and the CA Budget Advisory advised. Of course SFUSD does not have to take their advice. But we cannot honestly discuss budget cuts in this district without understanding that we have a massive disparity in per pupil funding. SFUSD seems committed to exacerbate those disparities. It doesn't seem to care how much pain it inflicts upon schools as long as it can proceed unimpeded with its Superintendent Zone strategy.

    Read my Forum topic "Quiet Disapproval of District Inequities" posted yesterday for more on this subject.

  2. Let's not spend one penny on any high school lazybone that doesn't demonstrate an interest in his own education. If he won't come to school, behave himself in class and do his homework too bad for him.Focus on the elementary school kids.Reward success, not failure. There isn't enough money to throw it away.

  3. There's less and less money for classrooms, but at least one SIG school has so much cash it is now bribing kids to get them to behave. I'm telling you Carlos Garcia will stop at nothing to make those schools a success.

  4. I expected to see what an all cuts budget might look like after reading the title. What will that $41 million look like in San Francisco? If the picture is worse than expected and we need to lay off more people than those who already received pink slips, what then? And what about Don's point? Will the cuts be weighted or spread out evenly?

  5. Don, I hope that you have an opportunity to present your views at upcoming budget meetings. Also, I hope that SFUSD and BOE drop the K-8 forced feeder patterns and stop proposing a costly 7th period at all middle school to accommodate a few immersion language students (who might be better served at magnet language middle schools). It is unethical to introduce initiatives that require budget expansion when public education funding is shrinking.

  6. Well this is interesting. Despite SFUSD desperately needing additional funds, Carlos Garcia says he "might not be interested" in millions of dollars in federal funding if he actually has to account for the way the money is spent and tie it to standards-based benchmarks.

    The federal funding is based on: "standards-based benchmarks; improving and retaining quality teachers and principals; using data systems to measure improvement; and turning around the lowest-performing schools."

    Read full article here:

  7. Ooops, guess that's a really old article but still...does anyone else find that beyond strange?