SF Board of Education Adopts Plan and Budget for 2023-24 School Year

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San Francisco (June 22, 2023) - The San Francisco Board of Education adopted its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and $1.28 billion total operating budget for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) for the 2023-24 school year on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. 

With its budget development, SFUSD has prioritized stability, transparency, and aligning to its vision, values, goals, and guardrails. The most relevant guardrails related to budget development include Effective Decision-Making and Resource Allocation. This means that major decisions will include meaningful consultation with parents/guardians, staff, and students who will be majorly impacted by those decisions; and that resources will be allocated with transparent communication about how the allocations are baseline sufficient to operate all schools while addressing inequitable inputs and creating more equity and excellence in student outcomes.

“While we have made progress in addressing our structural deficit, SFUSD is not immune to the enrollment decline experienced across the state. The critical work of aligning our staffing and school portfolio to enrollment is still to come,” Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne said. “Compared to other districts in California, SFUSD has one of the lowest staff-to-student ratios, and we have more schools and smaller schools for our student population. We know there may be difficult decisions down the road in order to give students the education they deserve, to support our staff in feeling valued and engaged, and to maintain fiscal responsibility.”

The majority of SFUSD’s total operating budget consists of the Unrestricted General Fund, most of which funds school-based supports, including employee salary and benefit costs. School-based budgets, which are allocated through the district’s Weighted Student Formula, comprise the largest portion of expenditures in the Unrestricted General Fund. The next largest portion of the budget, the Restricted General Fund, amounts to 41% of the overall budget, including local voter-approved funding such as the Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) and parcel tax revenues. 

The district’s budget reflects an increase in funding from the state: SFUSD expects to receive $644.8 million from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California’s primary source of state education dollars.

Given that the impacts of COVID-19 are statewide, for the FY 2022-23 budget, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) were allowed to budget according to attendance in FY 2019-20, prior to the start of the pandemic. This held school districts “harmless” for changes in ADA resulting from school closures and recognizing that traditional forms of attendance were not possible during distance learning. In FY 2023-24, SFUSD expects to use the average of the prior three fiscal years to determine funded ADA levels.

The Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) Expenditure Plan included in the adopted budget amounts to $90.3 million, an additional $1.4 million than the previous year. The spending plan for these voter-approved funds support many programs in the City’s public schools, including sports, libraries, arts, and music programs. For instance, because of PEEF, every SFUSD school has a library and a credentialed librarian, and every student has access to a nurse and/or social worker.

Additionally, the budget includes $101.1 million in revenues from parcel taxes from the Quality Teacher and Education Act (QTEA), as approved by San Francisco voters in 2008, and the Fair Wages for Educators Act (FWEA), as approved by San Francisco voters in 2020. Both measures contribute to making San Francisco teacher salaries competitive with those in surrounding school districts; provide financial incentives for teachers to work at schools with historically high turnover and teach in hard-to-fill subject areas such as high school math; increase teacher support while raising teacher accountability; improve academic innovation through research and development; and upgrade school technologies.

The approved budget also maintains the 2% reserve for economic uncertainties, as well as a $49.1 million reserve for budget stabilization and $60 million to replenish the Rainy Day Reserve and maintain a Systems Reserve.

In addition, the Board of Education also approved a resolution Tuesday that commits to take action to ensure the district meets the state minimum reserve for economic uncertainty and eliminates the school district’s unrestricted general fund structural deficit in 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26. Per the resolution, the Board of Education will hold a Budget Workshop in August 2023 to provide additional direction on the 2023-24 budget as it relates to the 45-day budget revision process after receiving information on the impacts of the 2023-24 State of California’s Final Budget from June 2023 has on the finances of the district.

About the Local Control Funding Formula 

California’s LCFF, enacted in 2013–14, replaced the previous kindergarten through 12th grade (K–12) revenue limit funding methodology, and gave school districts serving high-needs students more funds in the form of supplemental and concentration grants, based on the number and percentages of high-needs students they serve. School districts are also required to adopt Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs), which are plans to show how districts will spend the supplemental funds to support their high-needs students. Each year, parents, students, labor partners, and community members are given the opportunity to provide feedback and help shape SFUSD’s LCAP. 

SFUSD must send its approved budget to the state by July 1. 

Learn more about the SFUSD Budget and LCAP.