SFUSD introduces expanded budget

San Francisco Unified School District officials will unveil a $361.5 million budget for the 2012-13 school year at the Board of Education meeting tonight.

The budget includes $29 million more in expenditures compared to 2011-12, while revenue increased just $364,000.

The district’s budget office attributed much of the cost increase in the budget to step increases in faculty salaries along with health care costs for employees and retirees, which the budget office anticipates will increase by about 10 percent in 2012-13.

For the upcoming school year, central administration will see its budget grow by $630,000, an increase of more than 4 percent. Instructional support, a budget category that includes the curriculum office, pupil services and school health programs, will gain $1.2 million, nearly 17 percent. The district will contribute an additional $9 million to the County Office of Education’s special education function.

The increases will be partially offset by cutting $3.7 million in funds sent to schools, along with nearly $9 million in salary cuts though furlough days and the elimination of sabbaticals. The salary cuts have incensed the teachers union, which is nearing the end of its two-year contract. Negotiations over a new contract broke down in May, leading to a preliminary strike authorization by union members and the intervention of a state mediator.

The district also has clashed with the union over layoffs. The school board authorized 582 layoffs this spring, including pink slips for 210 classroom teachers. While most of those layoffs have been rescinded, nearly 60 classroom teachers are still without the final word about their jobs. Historically, nearly all layoffs have been rescinded by the time classes begin in August.

Tonight’s meeting will include public comment about the budget, but the district will also hold two community meetings before the board votes. The Board of Education must approve a budget by June 30.

Even after the passage of the budget, the financial situation for the district could worsen. If this budget is adopted by the board, the district will begin the school year in July with $46.2 million on hand and end the year in June 2013 with $15.7 million. School budget officials have projected that reserve funds will continue to shrink in 2013-14.


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