Legislators urge state to deny San Francisco school district reopening funds

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Local legislators are urging the state to deny the San Francisco School District’s bid for $12 million in reopening funds.

Assemblymember Phil Ting, along with Assemblymember David Chiu and Senator Scott Weiner argue the district didn’t offer in-person instruction to enough students to meet the requirement.

Earlier this Spring, the state set aside $2 billion to help schools reopen by May 15th.

To qualify for the funds, districts needed to offer in-person instruction for all elementary grades and at least one grade in middle or high school.

Ting says they also needed to bring back their most vulnerable students, but SFUSD failed to meet two of those requirements.

The school district brought back some high school seniors but not all by the May 15th deadline.

The district said it established a hybrid schedule for those seniors and hope this will qualify them.

In a statement on Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said, ” this gradual rollout enabled us to both provide intensive support to our schools as they brought students back into classrooms after a year of distance learning and to learn along the way. At each successive stage, it was not entirely clear if we had the staffing to get to the next stage.”

The school district did not address the accusations in this letter.

Meanwhile, representatives from the teacher’s union want legislators to reconsider their position.

“I was just so disappointed and really upset. This is about our students in San Francisco, the children and people that they represent, and the San Francisco School District is facing a deficit next year of over 57 million dollars.”

Assembly member Ting says they wanted to send a clear message with this letter.

They expect a full re-open in the Fall, which the school district says it’s committed to do so.

Over the next few weeks, the state controller and superintendent will determine whether or not SFUSD qualifies for the reopening funds.

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