I’ll say this about the San Francisco Unified School District: We really do our homework.
How do I know? Let me tell you about how we create our annual budget.
First, like all California public school districts, we receive funds from the state through something called the Local Control Funding Formula.
This formula gives us a base amount per student and also allows the SFUSD to receive supplemental funding for students who come from low-income families, are learning English or are living in foster care. Luckily, as pioneers in site-based budgeting, providing supplemental funds to serve English learners and low-income students isn’t new to us. We pioneered this idea years ago.
To get these funds from the state, we have to draw up a Local Control and Accountability Plan. This shows our goals, provided services and how we will spend the funds we get to educate all of our students, including those students who need additional support.
And here’s where we really roll up our sleeves and get to work. We take this conversation all over The City and ask parents, educators, students and community members what they think we should be doing with the supplemental funds.
We’ve been doing this for the past couple of months. We heard from more than 350 people in 26 different locations and got real, on-the-ground feedback and suggestions. Here are some of the things we heard many, many times:
Get specific on how the SFUSD will continue to improve graduation rates for African-American, Latino, English-learner and foster youth, as well as students receiving Special Education services.
Establish clear-cut goals about how much the district is going to reduce suspension rates for our African-American and Latino students.
Expand teacher training in areas like trauma and classroom management.
Now it’s time to pull this and other important input together into a plan and show you what we have so far. We invite you to come take a look and talk about it with us. For more information about the LCAP, visit www.sfusd.edu/budget.
Richard Carranza is the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.
IF YOU GO:
Connecting the dots: San Francisco Unified School District LCAP community findings
555 Franklin St., San Francisco