The City should protect school-age children of families who are evicted because the traumatic upheaval often causes their grades to drop and mars their future, according to one city supervisor.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick has drafted legislation that would require The City’s Rent Board to collect data about how many school-age children are evicted and present the numbers in a report issued annually March 1. He also has authored a resolution urging the San Francisco Unified School District to track students who are forced to change schools due to an eviction.
When students are forced to change schools or undergo the trauma of a forced move, their academic performance deteriorates, McGoldrick said. “This is something that can mark a person for life,” he said.
McGoldrick has suggested he may use the data to draft legislation that would prohibit the eviction of families with school-age children during the school year.
The Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday unanimously supported McGoldrick’s proposals. The full board is expected to vote on them next week.
Students who change schools are less likely to graduate, more likely to repeat a grade and often perform below grade level, according to a report from the Office of the Legislative Analyst.
It remains unclear how many school-age children are forced to change schools due to evictions. Between March 2005 and February, there were 1,621 total evictions filed with the Rent Board, according to the report.
Ted Gullicksen, director of the San Francisco Tenants Union, estimated that hundreds of school-age children are affected by evictions every year, according to the report.
Both the Rent Board and the school district have said they are willing to compile the data McGoldrick has requested.