City to cut school funds in exchange for services

An annual allocation of city funds approved by voters for San Francisco’s public schools was reduced by $1.75 million and replaced with an in-kind amount of city services, it was announced Thursday at a Board of Supervisors meeting.

Passed in 2004, Proposition H provides city funding for sports, libraries, art, music and other needs for the San Francisco Unified School District.

The district is scheduled to receive $30 million in city funds; but because has a projected $338 million deficit, the amount was slashed to $22.5 million under a provision implemented when The City hits hard budget times, according to Deputy Controller Monique Zmuda.

The change would mean cutting back on other programs, though the district doesn’t yet know which ones, Board of Education Chair Mark Sanchez said.

The City supplies the school district with a number of services, ranging from electricity and heat to health services in schools, according to a report from Controller Ben Rosenfield.

Such “in-kind services” made up $250,000 of the district’s $20 million Prop. H allocation in 2007-08, according to Myong Leigh, district finance director.

In recent years, several supervisors have asked that the district accept more services in lieu of cash.

“Each year, there seems to be this teeth-pulling,” Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

The City is required to reimburse SFUSD for Prop. H underpayments by 2018.

bwinegarner@sfexaminer.com

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