SFUSD Continues Serious Budget Corrective Actions

Press Release Details

Posted Date

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State Certification Highlights Ongoing Needs for District to Take Further Action

San Francisco (May 3, 2024) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has been taking, and continues to take, serious corrective actions on its budget to address ongoing fiscal challenges. With its most recent financial report to the California Department of Education (CDE) in March 2024, SFUSD shared an updated fiscal stabilization plan. This plan identified specific steps the district is taking to remain fiscally solvent.

On Friday, May 3, SFUSD received notice from the CDE that because SFUSD is still in the process of implementing its plan to resolve deficit spending, the CDE is revising the certification of SFUSD’s March budget report from “Qualified” to “Negative.” This means that the CDE is concerned the district will not meet all of its financial obligations over the next two fiscal years. 

“It is clear that opportunities for growth and improvement exist throughout the entire system,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne. “We are committed to accelerating our efforts to address the remaining concerns to ensure that San Francisco public schools are places where students can learn, grow, and thrive.”

According to the CDE, “While additional steps are needed to improve SFUSD’s financial systems, we acknowledge progress is being made that will lead to improved decision-making and the long-term fiscal sustainability of the SFUSD.”

SFUSD has been and will continue to engage in the following corrective actions:

  • Our most recent external audit (2022-23) improved over the prior year.
  • We have stabilized our payroll issues system and are transitioning to a new Enterprise Resource Planning system to significantly improve business services, human resources, and operations.
  • We have eliminated a significant number of vacant positions and will continue to do so, as already indicated in our fiscal stabilization plan.
  • We have centralized staffing for the first time in recent memory to obtain better control over positions and spending.
  • We will continue to monitor our processes for staffing and hiring to ensure that any new positions we fill are critical.
  • We are actively addressing operational challenges identified by a recent Financial Crisis Management and Assistance Team (FCMAT) audit.
  • We have embarked on a long-overdue Resource Alignment Initiative to create a new portfolio of schools that use our limited resources to create strong and supportive learning environments for our students and staff.

In 2022, CDE appointed two state fiscal experts to support the district in fiscal stabilization. With this updated certification, the fiscal experts will move to fiscal advisor status and can directly engage in any district operation deemed counter to fiscal stability.

The SF Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, to discuss updates on the budget and the district’s stabilization plan and explore the feasibility of a Board Ad Hoc Committee.