Mayor vetoes funding to restore CCSF classes

Mayor London Breed on Friday vetoed $2.7 million in funding meant to restore City College of San Francisco classes that were cut abruptly, just before registration for the spring term began.

More than 300 classes were cut and prompted an outcry from students and faculty. Supervisor Shamann Walton had sought money from The City’s general fund, called a budget supplemental, as “bridge funding” while the college worked toward long-term solutions to fix its budget deficit.

However, Chancellor Mark Rocha has indicated that City College administrators did not want the funding, and some board members have said they would prefer to see the college focus on restoring its reserve fund, which has fallen dangerously low.

The City College board is scheduled to meet on Feb. 27 to discuss potential solutions to its budget crisis, which has been triggered in part by changes in state funding formulas.

Breed’s veto had been widely expected after the Board of Supervisors approved the funds 7-4, short of the majority needed to override her.

In her veto message, Breed said, “using General Fund Reserve dollars as a band-aid for long-term structural problems does not help City College.”

“City College’s structural budget shortfall … suggests an unwillingness or inability to balance competing priorities that jeopardizes the long-term strength of the institution,” Breed wrote.

Breed said the “unfortunate” midyear elimination of classes was part of an effort by the City College board to ensure the long-term financial health of the college.

“This $2.7 million appropriation directly disincentives the fiscal responsibility that is essential to ensuring CCSF’s long-term stability,” she wrote.

In response to the veto, Walton said he looked forward to an upcoming hearing on how class cuts have impacted students and community members.

“We will continue to stand behind City College,” he said.

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