SF supes want to tap cash reserves for students

(KGO)
December 18, 2012 5:53:42 PM PST
San Francisco's mayor is being asked by some supervisors to give the school district a present this holiday season, an infusion of cash to fund extra programs for struggling students. A measure to give the school district more than $2 million passed the board of supervisors earlier this month, but one big and controversial chunk of that money may not get final approval.

Public school students went to San Francisco City Hall Tuesday to sing Christmas carols and according to their choir director, to express appreciation for Mayor Ed Lee. Some educators are hoping the mayor will return the love with city money to help struggling students.

"All schools need more money. It's a travesty that we've gotten to this point where we are really down to the bare bones," Burton High School Principal William Kappenhagen told ABC7 News. Juniors at his school and other schools district-wide must now meet new academic requirements in order to graduate in 2014. Data released by the district indicates 45 percent of the students are in danger.

Supervisor David Campos is one of the co-sponsors of a measure that would take $840,000 from the city's reserves to pay for remedial efforts like night classes and counselors to try to get failing students back on track. "We are facing an academic crisis right now and we believe that that crisis requires we do something beyond what is already being done for the district," he said.

The school district is independent from the city, though it relies on help from the local government. Still, Supervisor Mark Farrell believes the city should not dip into its reserve fund. "We have $15 million set aside. The current estimate is the state's going to cut us about $30 million to $40 million. So, to take money from our state reserves to pay for this is completely irresponsible," he said.

A final vote will be held next month.


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