Breed’s budget proposal to include $15M to help school district close deficit

Mayor London Breed will announce her two-year city budget proposal on Friday, but on Wednesday she announced it will include...

Mayor London Breed will announce her two-year city budget proposal on Friday, but on Wednesday she announced it will include $15 million to help the San Francisco Unified School District close a deficit due in part to a loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Breed said the money would come from the The City’s general fund, a portion of the budget that is not restricted to specific uses, to avert the possibility of staffing and training cuts.

She said that the upcoming school year is challenging with distance learning and the need for childcare along with teachers “facing another year of uncertainty due to the looming budget deficits.”

“The City is stepping in to help the school district through this challenging time because we need to do everything we can to ensure that our students don’t fall further behind during these uncertain times,” Breed said in a statement. “Whether it’s this additional funding, continuing to provide daily meals for students who no longer have access to school lunches, or creating learning hubs for up to 6,000 disadvantaged students, we’re trying to provide as much assistance as possible.”

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said the funding “will provide much needed fiscal relief as our school community ramps up for a challenging year.”

“The pandemic has required significant additional costs and reduced local revenues, and this assistance will help us focus on supporting students and families instead of decimating our budgets further at the worst possible time,” Matthews said.

The Mayor’s Office said that the district currently faces a $22 million deficit largely related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the upcoming fiscal year that includes a loss of $12 million in states funds known as the Local Control Funding Formula and $18 million in local revenues.

Even before the pandemic hit, the district faced a budget deficit of $57 million that it had to close.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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