Sunday, June 19, 2011

SFUSD Budget for 2011-2012 [First Reading]

For those who like numbers, tables, and pie charts, this 460-page document won’t disappoint. Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ends and reality begins--the numbers are abysmal. I haven’t had time to read all the details, but noteworthy numbers include the preliminary site-base budget allocation by school (pages 58-60) and Superintendent Garcia’s salary (page 71), which is $290,145 plus benefits if I read the table correctly.

Timelines: The Board of Education is expected to vote on the budget on June 21 with adoption of the budget [second reading] on June 28.


  1. There's another $30,000 in compensation for certificated employees in the Superintendent's office. Since there is only 1 FTE in the office, I wonder if that "non FTE-based certificated compensation" is also for the Superintendent.

    $290,145 is a bit of a cut from the salary listed on this spreadsheet:

    The bigger issue is state funding, of course. However, given the massive cuts to school sites, I don't think it's too much to ask for the District's highest-paid employees to take a larger salary cut as a show of solidarity with their workforce.

  2. I'm going to say it, these are a lot of overpaid people, some of whom aren't necessary. With unemployment at 9%, why not have someone do their best to find qualified people who can replace people, who are competent. I know you could find sheet metal workers and plumbers for 55-60k, and all those curriculum analysts, let the state curriculum stand, follow that. We need more money going straight to the schools. They should hire one HR person and give them 10% of every dollar they save, commission. The sheet metal workers are on a 90k salary, so if you find someone at 60k, you make a $3,000 commission. They really are overpaying and not looking out for the students or the taxpayers.

  3. Hmmm, according to this ad they're paying Sheet Metal workers in Hayward 15-23/hr. SFUSD is paying 85k, plus benefits. Let's say we get someone to commute from Hayward and pay 25/hr., that'd save 35k. For each 2 sheet metal workers, we could have one extra teacher in the classrooms, considering the teachers being laid off are generally at the lower end of the pay scale, 70k would cover salary plus benefits for the teachers at the level of whom are being laid off.

    Not to mention that maybe a lot of these people aren't needed at all and teachers are generally underpaid, why are the SFUSD jobs all so overpaid? Some of these people answer the phone and can barely speak English or answer a question, and they are apparently at 80k or more because no one on this list is making less than 80k. I thought they were at 40k. Wow, no one is protecting the taxpayer or stuent.

    Note I just chose sheet metal worker at random. I think most of these salaries are bloated and innocent children are suffering as a result. There's 9% unemployment. If there was ever a time to clean house and save a lot of money to benefit the children, it's now.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This is probably not the appropriate thread for this, nevertheless, I thought everyone should take a look at this article on SocketSite today:

    "Flight of the San Francisco Families"

    People are always arguing about whether or not families are leaving SF, so thought these statistics would be of interest:

  6. E. Rat,

    You know that California does not allocate funding directly to school sites, SIG grants excepted and that is not state, but federal money administered by the state.

    As for taking larger salary cut, I'm 100% in agreement with you. But most of those high paid staff feel they could make more in the private sector.

    Supposedly SFUSD made cuts to central staff, but I'm hard pressed to see where those supposed cuts are. Why they kept Orla O'Keeffe after she failed so miserably on the middle school SAS, is an example of the lack of accountability downtown.

    Lastly, SFUSD is required by Ed Code to name the programs they are flexing and to hold a public hearing on the proposed use of those flex items. This budget shows the flex items, but the hearing that was held did not address the proposed use. Garcia does not want to state that he's using the money for his superintendent zones. We can argue over the proper use of flexed items, but at the very least we should agree that he ought to be accountable for how public money is spent. Dumping it into the general fund to be used as he wishes without public oversight is not accountability.

    But I've found that people here and in SF in general pay very little attention to financial details, no matter that Tier III comprises of almost $60M.

  7. Wondering if some of the overpaid sheet metal workers are union and the more affordable ones aren't. What does SF care more about, its unions or its children? The reelection of Kim-Shree Maufas suggests an answer. Yes, still bitter about that one...

  8. The Superintendent's high salary is not particularly noteworthy. What major city doesn't pay the Superintendent around $300k? That it is not money well spent is another issue.

    What is noteworthy is the $37M Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant which was flexed only by 10%. While district's all over California are using it to prop up their basic services, SFUSD continues not to do so. This is made all the more ridiculous now that SFUSD may lose some of its SIG money for failing to spend it out according to their grant application, according to the CDE.

    That 10 schools received the SIG grants and did not spend much of the funding indicates that they do not need all that TIIBG. If they had spent the SIG grant effectively and completely, they could have lessened the reliance on TIIBG. But instead they blow the SIG grant implementation, use the TIIBG and jeopardize the essential services of the Gened program districtwide as a result.

    I went down and spoke before the Board on this issue a few days ago. I now that people glaze over with the mention of finance, but were talking tens of millions here, enough to cover the entire shortfall.

    I sure hope the rumor that Garcia is leaving is true. What utter incompetence!

  9. It makes a good talking point to contrast union jobs versus kids. But it ain't that simple. SFUSD cannot just hire scabs. They have contracts. There are laws and such things as high paid union lawyers and suits.
    I'm not defending the status quo or unions. I'm just saying....