SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – As the San Francisco Unified School District faces a $ 125 million deficit, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said on Friday she would forgo a $ 26 loan, $ 6 million awarded to the district in 2019.
According to city officials, the loan was granted on the instruction of the mayor to advance Bill G of 2018, the plot tax of the Living Wage Act for educators, used to increase teachers’ salaries in the city. public sector.
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However, due to ongoing litigation related to the Prop. G, some $ 150 million from the tax has been withheld from the district over the past three years. As litigation continued over the years, the district paid for the salary increases, in part, with the city’s $ 26 million loan.
With the California Supreme Court dismissing the court challenge on Wednesday and upholding the proposal, the district will now be able to access frozen package tax funds, city officials said.
Now, instead of collecting the initial loan, Breed and supervisor Hillary Ronen have announced that the city will cancel the loan.
âOur schools face an uncertain and dire fiscal future, so forgiving this loan is the right thing for the city to do to support our children and families,â Breed said in a statement. “Tying the cancellation of these loans to the execution of a comprehensive plan will ensure that these vital dollars are part of a long-term effort to stabilize our district and our schools.”
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âOur public schools are chronically underfunded, right here in San Francisco and across the state. This is one of California’s biggest embarrassments, âRonen said. âOur municipal government has stepped up time and again to support our public school, our students and our educators. We will continue to do so, but we are also awaiting additional state support. We also need school district leaders to focus on their core tasks, putting the well-being of students at the center of all financial decisions. “
Breed is set to introduce legislation to cancel the loan once the district draws up a multi-year plan to stabilize its finances and operations, as well as a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that uses the plan, officials say. from the city.
Earlier this month, district officials said based on the district’s multi-year projections, the budget deficit is expected to worsen in subsequent years.
In light of the budget issues, the California Department of Education has asked the district to come up with a budget balancing plan by December 15 for review, followed by a final balanced budget by June 2022.
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