Elsewhere: $6 million in rainy day funds for schools Ex

Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty today announced that about $6 million will be provided to the San Francisco Unified School District to help it meet a $113 million budget shortfall over the next two years.

Superintendent Carlos Garcia said at the district’s Board of Education meeting Wednesday that reductions are likely to services such as supplemental counseling, staff development, physical education and violence prevention programs to address the budget shortfall.

There is also the possibility of suspending teacher sabbaticals, freezing salary increases, or increasing class sizes, although those moves would have to be done after negotiating with United Educators of San Francisco, the union of teachers working for the district.

Newsom announced the releasing of rainy day funds during remarks at “Bridging the Bay,” a conference held by after-school professionals such as recreation coordinators.

The rainy day fund was created when voters passed Proposition G in 2003. The account’s balance currently stands at about $24 million, and the district should receive 25 percent of that total.

The school district received $19.2 million from the rainy day fund last year.

“By releasing these rainy day funds, we are hoping to ease some of the pain and help prevent even deeper cuts to education and layoffs,” Newsom said in a statement.

“We are lucky in San Francisco to have saved our extra revenue for when times get tough,” Newsom said. “Those tough times are here and we need to do whatever we can to minimize the impact on our students.”

However, the large deficit means that cuts will still likely have to be made despite the releasing of rainy day funds. At Wednesday’s meeting, Garcia asked the board to consider his proposals and make a decision soon.

The district has until March 15 to notify families about offers for school placement and to send preliminary layoff notices to teachers.

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