SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday $15 million in funding support for the San Francisco Unified School District to help ease the financial burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding will be included in both the FY 2020-21 and 2021-22 budgets, which will be announced on Friday.
The school district currently faces a budget shortfall of $22 million due to a decrease in revenues due to the pandemic, and without this funding would face cuts to staffing and training, according to the mayor's announcement.
“One of the most frustrating aspects of the failure of national leadership to contain COVID-19 is that students are facing another year of education without the ability to be in the classroom, parents are facing another year without the childcare provided by schools, and teachers are facing another year of uncertainty due to the looming budget deficits,” Breed said in the announcement.
The $15 million will come from the city's General Fund in the proposed budget. The mayor announced earlier this month that San Francisco will transform facilities around the city into Supervised Community Learning Hubs to support distance learning for high school student this fall. The city also plans to extend its emergency child and youth care program in order to support families during the pandemic in order to serve the children of healthcare workers and city employees who are working as Disaster Service Workers.
In April, Breed announced a partnership between the city, the school district and nonprofit organizations to provide internet connectivity to students in the city who lacked home internet access, including 25 WiFi "SuperSpots." Since March, the school district has distributed more than 13,000 Chromebooks and 3,500 hotspots to 3rd through 12th graders.
“We greatly appreciate this budgetary support from Mayor Breed, which will provide much needed fiscal relief as our school community ramps up for a challenging year,” Superintendent Vincent Matthews said in a prepared statement. “The pandemic has required significant additional costs and reduced local revenues, and this assistance will help us focus on supporting students and families instead of decimating our budgets further at the worst possible time.”