SFUSD Superintendent Shares Next Steps in Planning for 2025-26 School Co-Locations, Mergers, and Closures

Press Release Details

Posted Date

Press Release Message

Draft Criteria One of Multiple Factors in Determining New School Portfolio

San Francisco (June 15, 2024) - San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne is sharing an update on the district’s Resource Alignment Initiative, a multi-faceted plan to align the district's resources with its Vision, Values, Goals, and Guardrails with a focus on equitable student experiences by merging, co-locating, or closing schools in the 2025-26 school year.

At the SF Board of Education regular meeting on June 25, 2024, Superintendent Wayne will 1) present highlights of the first phase of community engagement from March through May 2024; 2) review the school portfolio design process and timeline; and 3) share SFUSD’s recommendations for composite score criteria, metrics, and category weight, as well as metrics for an upcoming third-party Equity Audit, that will help inform a new school portfolio. The Board of Education will discuss these recommendations at the meeting.

SFUSD’s recommendations, which will be used to inform the composite scores for each school, include 10 weighted criteria that fall into three weighted categories: 

Equity Category Criteria

  • School access - (also Equity Audit criteria)
  • Program access - (also Equity Audit criteria)
  • Historical inequities - (also Equity Audit criteria)

Excellence Category Criteria

  • School culture & climate
  • Academic performance
  • Socio-emotional development

Effective Use of Resources Category Criteria

  • Family choice and demand - (also Equity Audit criteria)
  • Student enrollment - (also Equity Audit criteria)
  • Building condition - (also Equity Audit criteria)
  • Teacher turnover

After presenting the criteria and weighting for the composite score to the Board of Education at the June 25 regular meeting, independent, third-party researchers will calculate composite scores for each school. With a composite score for each school, SFUSD will create draft scenarios under consideration for closures, mergers, and co-locations. All schools will be considered for closures, mergers, and co-locations regardless of their placement on the composite score list. SFUSD will develop portfolio scenarios which will then be reviewed through an Equity Audit, which aims to minimize disproportionality in SFUSD’s school closure process by quantifying disproportionality and focusing on key dimensions of inequality.

The result of this process will create the proposed new school portfolio that will be shared in fall 2024. The Board of Education will vote on the portfolio recommendation in December 2024, with changes taking effect in 2025-26.

“This process is about ensuring San Francisco public schools offer equitable educational experiences for each and every student,” Superintendent Wayne said. “The status quo isn’t working; right now we aren’t able to deliver on the quality of learning and provide the resources necessary to help our students thrive. While I know this process is difficult, I am optimistic that it will lead us to a world-class, thriving, equity-centered school system in San Francisco.”

SFUSD’s process to create a new portfolio of schools draws from research and lessons from districts around the country. SFUSD has engaged in its largest community engagement campaign in recent memory as part of its guardrail around effective decision making to ensure there is meaningful consultation from those who will be affected by major decisions. The California Attorney General’s guidance on school closures continues to inform SFUSD’s plans to ensure equitable access in education and prevent systemic discrimination in schools.

Equity is a foundational principle for SFUSD in this process. The district’s approach emphasizes community engagement and data-informed decision-making, which is unique in its aims and complexity relative to other districts that have engaged in similar consolidation efforts.

About the Resource Alignment Initiative

SFUSD has experienced a steady decline in enrollment since 1999. Since the 2017-18 school year, SFUSD enrollment has decreased by over 4,000 students. Demographic trends, such as declining birth rates, indicate that SFUSD could lose 4,600 additional students by 2032. This decline has occurred without reducing the number of schools in its portfolio, spreading resources thin across school sites. One symptom of this problem is staffing shortages, which significantly affect the day-to-day operations of public schools. In 2022-23 and at the start of 2023-24, at least 15% of classrooms were staffed by substitute teachers or teachers on special assignment. 

The Resource Alignment Initiative was launched in August 2023 and includes five components: 1) creating a new school staffing model, 2) reorganizing the central office, 3) exploring generating revenue from properties, 4) investing in priority districtwide programs, and 5) creating a new portfolio of schools. The community engagement campaign focuses on the fifth component, creating a new portfolio of schools. There will be no changes to SFUSD’s school portfolio in the 2024-25 school year; adjustments to the school portfolio will go into effect in fall 2025. 

To create a comprehensive process that ensures community engagement and equitable outcomes, SFUSD interviewed leaders in other districts who have had similar challenges to learn from their successes and failures. SFUSD also consulted existing research and legal guidance from the California Department of Education, the California Attorney General, and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) to ensure the Resource Alignment Initiative uses best practices and satisfies legal requirements.

Visit the RAI website for more information.

Go here access the draft agenda for the June 25, 2024 Board of Education regular meeting, and go here to access the slidedeck with criteria recommendations.