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OUR SCHOOLS NEED EVERY DOLLAR!

Parents and children’s advocates are protesting a proposal that they say could deprive public schools of $2.5 million in badly needed support. The money at issue is part of the funding promised to San Francisco schools under Prop. H, a 2004 ballot measure that committed city money to support financially strapped schools. Each year, the Prop. H funding level increases until it reaches $60 million in 2009-10; this year the amount is $30 million.

The measure specified that part of the support could be through “in-kind services” provided by the city to the schools, rather than cash. The Board of Supervisors is pressuring SFUSD to identify and accept a high level of in-kind services, and some officials contend that in-kind services the city was already providing to the schools prior to Prop. H should be counted against the total. There is further controversy about what types of services can be fairly defined as services to the schools.

Now a resolution (No. 72-27A3) has been introduced at the Board of Education which mandates that “the Board of Education include[s] not less than $2.5 million of its 2008-2009 proposed Prop H spending plan as in-kind services from the City.” However, by failing to specify that such in kind services should be “new” services (that is, services which the City is not already providing to the school district), this resolution would allow the City to claim “not less than $2.5 million” of services which are already provided, such as museum admissions, Internet access at public libraries which might be used by students, or health clinics operating on school property.

If you believe that our schools cannot afford to give up $2.5 million per year, and would like all in kind services to be “new”, not “existing”, please contact the Board of Education and the Board of Supervisors and let them know how you feel.

Here’s how you can help!

The resolution which would allow the City to count at least $2.5 million in existing services, such as museum admissions, use of city parks for soccer games, or even sidewalk repairs outside of schools, towards the Prop H allotment every year, was heard and discussed at The City and School District Select Committee meeting on Thursday April 12th; many parents came to speak and demanded that all in kind services be “new.” It was reported that BOS and BOE members had received “a flood” of letters, e-mails, and phone calls on the subject.

  • Click here to read a description of this meeting from Greatschools’ correspondent Kate Steinheimer

The Select Committee will recommend that the resolution include the word “new,” and that it be held for further action pending formulation of a list of acceptable in kind services. The BOE Budget and Business Services Committee heard this as an “informational item” at its April 17th meeting. Board President Sanchez, the author of the resolution, had agreed prior to the meeting that the resolution be held pending the decision on which services can rightfully be considered “new in kind.” That decision will be made by a committee formed by the Deparment of Children Youth and Families, and including both Prop H CAC members and representatives from the City Controller’s office. No timeline was provided for this new committee to accomplish its work, but it was noted that fortunately there is plenty of time, as the resolution would affect the Prop H spending for 08-09, not 07-08. The Controller’s office has already approved the BOE-proposed spending plan for 07-08, and it is awaiting approval from the Board of Supervisors.

  • Please e-mail the Board of Education and the Board of Supervisors and let them know where you stand.
    • Click here for a quick and easy way to do this.
  • Click here to read what other parents are saying about Prop H and in kind services.
  • Click here to read responses from Board of Education members.
  • Click here to read the text of Prop H (Public Education Enrichment Fund). Click on Article XVI, then on section 16-123.1, and you can scroll down to read the entire text of the Charter Amendment.
  • Click here to read BOE Resolution No. 72-27A3 In Kind Services in the Public Education Enrichment Fund (Proposition H).
  • Click here for more background on Prop H.
  • Click here for more background on BOE Resolution No. 72-27A3 In Kind Services in the Public Education Enrichment Fund (Proposition H). Scroll down to “Committee Discusses Use of In Kind Services”.
  • Click here to read another report on what happened when BOE Resolution No. 72-27A3 was heard at the BOE Budget Committee on March 20, 2007.
  • Click here to read an October 2006 report from the City Controller’s Office detailing the in kind services which could be claimed as part of the Prop H allotment (scroll down to the appendix).
  • Click here for more on Prop H from Parents for Public Schools.

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