The San Francisco Unified School District's budget will reach $787.5 million for the 2015-16 year. S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO

The San Francisco Unified School District's budget will reach $787.5 million for the 2015-16 year. S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO

SFUSD plans for another amplified budget

San Francisco’s public schools are poised to receive another significant boost in funding in the coming school year.

The San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education tonight is expected to approve the 2015-16 budget, which is set to jump more than $71 million from 2014-15 to reach $787.5 million. Last year the district also saw a meatier budget than in recent years following cuts and stagnant funding that stemmed from the recession in 2008.

“I think we are turning a corner at this point,” said Myong Leigh, deputy superintendent for policy and operations. “In general we are able to invest in a lot of strategic priorities in ways that we started to last year, but a lot of needs were still left unreached.”

The greatest increase in spending — an additional $22.4 million — will go toward salaries and benefits for teachers, who had previously not seen a raise in five years. Late last year, the district and teachers’ union agreed on a 12 percent raise for educators over three years in what was considered one of the largest recent contracts for an urban school district in California.

That brings that total cost of salaries and benefits to $385 million in 2015-16. The SFUSD will also spend another $5.5 million for a total of $13 million on CalSTRS, the state’s educator retirement system, as required of districts by Gov. Jerry Brown as of last year.

Additionally, the district is slated to receive some $465.1 million from the Local Control Funding Formula, which accounts for the majority of state money for the SFUSD. The district’s overall unrestricted revenue is expected to climb to by $74.7 million to $555.1 million.

Such funding will help the district devote more to students as well, Leigh noted.

“We’re able to fund a lot of our strategic priorities,” he said.

Spending of the SFUSD’s unrestricted general fund is increasing by $63.6 million, which contributes to various programs including transportation, student nutrition and implementing the new Common Core State Standards. The district rolled out its English Language Arts curriculum in 2013-14, and the math segment this past school year.

For the first time, the entirety of Common Core development — which will next be implemented for science districtwide in 2016-17 — will be financed with the district’s unrestricted general fund with $7.5 million set aside in the budget.

The district previously used a now-expired $10.8 million state grant to fund Common Core implementation over the past two years.

There is also more money going to foster youth services for a total of $865,000, an additional $790,000 for special education and $786,526 for the district’s new African American Achievement & Leadership Initiative that dedicates resources to underserved students.

More than $440,000 is also being set aside for family engagement programs, including the creation of a family academy that will share information with families to support their child’s learning as well as district-wide initiatives. The academy is slated to be implemented next school year.
budgetJerry Brownpublic schoolsSan Francisco Unified School District

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