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San Francisco’s public schools are about to get a serious reality check. 

The district has been spending more than it gets for years, putting it on a path toward bankruptcy. Officials have continued to overstaff schools and overspend instead of responding to declining enrollment by shrinking head count and ineffective programs. That has meant less funding to boost student performance.

That’s only part of the sobering message Superintendent Matt Wayne will deliver to the school board and the public this month as he kicks off a process to build a more streamlined, effective and financially stable school system.

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As in many districts across California, the needs of city students have only increased in the wake of the pandemic, while other costs — namely pension payments — are skyrocketing, and teachers unions are demanding higher salaries to stem the exodus of educators.

Yet in San Francisco, the school board has been spending more than it receives in revenue for years, relying on a flush state budget, savings and pandemic recovery funds to make ends meet.

That breathing room is about to expire.

In coming years, the district’s financial situation is expected to become far more precarious. The combination of lower revenue connected to declining enrollment and the threat of a teacher strike over wages would be bad enough, and a slowing state economy offers little hope of reprieve.


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In a letter sent on July 12, Friends of Lowell Foundation, a group of parents, called for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to place a ballot measure in the 2024 election to make Algebra 1 available again for 8th-graders.

Also on July 12, the California State Board of Education approved a new math framework that did not suit the parents’ wishes.

“It’s a shame that with all these high-tech companies that have a presence here in our city, our school kids in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) cannot get to calculus, because when they moved Algebra 1 out of the eighth grade and put it into the ninth grade, that pushed everything back as a result,” Rex Ridgeway, PTSA president of Abraham Lincoln High School and the author of the letter, told The Epoch Times.



"The Lowell Alumni Association, Friends of Lowell Foundation and the Asian American Legal Foundation sued the district and school board in April, asking the court to overturn the decision and reinstate the former policy.


Attorneys for the school board urged [Judge Ethan] Schulman to leave the new admissions policy in place even if it was adopted improperly. They noted that Lowell had suspended its longtime policy during the 2020-21 school year during the pandemic, and that the new policy had taken effect Oct. 25 with the start of applications for admission in 2022-23. Ordering an immediate change would be unfair to new applicants and cause financial hardship to the district, the attorneys said.


If so, Schulman responded in his ruling, 'the district and the board have only themselves to blame.'"



Friends of Lowell Foundation Board of Directors Quoted:

“The denial of equal rights to educational opportunity for Asian-American children by those claiming progressive values is particularly tragic in light of the recent pandemic of violence against Asian-Americans,” FOLF board member Lee Cheng tells the WSJ. Please read the full article for the rest of his commentary.



Friends of Lowell Foundation Board of Directors Quoted:

“Merit is not being redefined. I think merit is being defamed,” FOLF board member Lee Cheng tells the CSM. Please read the full report for the rest of his commentary, as well as remarks from other members of the Lowell community.


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“This lawsuit is about improving education for all people,” said attorney Christine Linnenbach. “We want to be included not excluded from the process.” Linnenbach represents the Friends of Lowell Foundation, the Lowell Alumni Association, the San Francisco Taxpayers Association and the Asian American Legal Foundation. She was joined by a number of attorneys, including former San Francisco supervisor, former state senator and retired judge Quentin Kopp, as well as Bradley Hertz and James Sutton.

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