SFUSD moves funds to meet state laws 

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Money earmarked for programs in San Francisco schools — including physical education, art and music — will be diverted to the district’s general fund to allow the district to maintain financial reserves required by law.

The school board voted Tuesday night to divert $16 million out of $62 million in state funds earmarked for specific education programs. The vote was a required step before the board can approve a 2012-13 school-year budget.

The board voted 5-2 to divert the money, with board members Sandra Fewer and Kim-Shree Maufas dissenting.

The state, in an effort to help school districts maintain financial solvency during lean budget years, has since 2010 allowed them to divert funding that had been intended for 39 specific programs.

The vote means state grants for facilities maintenance, professional development, P.E. teachers and art and music can be used for other purposes. School officials said some of these programs will be covered by other funding sources.

The board is set to vote June 26 on a budget that includes $29 million in new expenses but only $364,000 in new revenue. The budget assumes United Educators of San Francisco, the teachers union, will accept nearly $9 million in salary concessions. A state mediator is currently facilitating negotiations between the district and union.

The budget also assumes that California voters will approve a November ballot measure that would increase taxes to fund education. If the measure fails, the SFUSD would stand to lose $23 million midyear.

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Amy Crawford

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