Parents are outraged at SF School District

July 30, 2008 12:23:51 AM PDT
Some parents in San Francisco have to start searching for a new kindergarten for their kids, months after they thought they were all set. School officials met with parents Tuesday night, to try to explain how a glitch caused all the confusion.

"How the students who were displaced chosen and singled out?" asked a parent.

Parents had a lot of questions for the San Francisco Unified School District. They are outraged that after receiving acceptance letters nearly five months ago, their children can no longer attend Spanish immersion programs at Alvarado and Flynn Elementary schools. In all, 23 kindergartners are affected.

"We bought uniforms. We paid for the afterschool care. It's like throwing everything up in the air again and saying our son doesn't have a kindergarten anymore. It's not a good thing," said Loretta Johnson, a parent.

The San Francisco Unified School District says for the Spanish immersion program to be effective, there needs to be an equal number of native Spanish speakers and English speakers. School officials thought they had achieved that balance, until they realized there was a coding error.

"In fact it was almost 100 percent native English speakers and so there were a lot of different possibilities that were considered and the Superintendent finally decided that the best choice was to reassign these 23 families," said Gentle Blythe, a SFUSD spokesperson.

Still, for parents, such explanations offer little comfort. Many are already frustrated by the district's complicated assignment system, one where families often don't get their top choices and where students are forced to attend school miles away from their home.

"I don't feel like I can look at my friends and my family and look at them and say, oh yes, you should go to public schools. And my family, personally, we're now considering a private school," said Todd David, a parent.

Some parents, however, say when it comes to the Spanish immersion program, the district is doing the right thing.

"It's important for the culture, it's important for the language that there is a balance of children in these programs," said Kim Garcia-Meza, a parent.

The parents of the 23 kindergartners are now forced to look at other schools. They have until August 6th to make up their minds.


Load Comments