District faces pushback against potential San Francisco school district layoffs

San Francisco schools are looking at cutting staff to offset a severe budget crisis. While the district is set to vote on looking at reducing staff, the teachers union is demanding the district to not make any cuts, and instead are calling on the state to increase funding.

By all accounts San Francisco's schools are facing a structural budget crisis, the district estimating it will be $125 million short for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

The district has acknowledged that it is looking at layoffs as a way to ease the crunch. The district is set to take a preliminary vote Tuesday night on the number of positions it will consider eliminating. Some educators saying they've already received word their jobs could be on the chopping block. 

"Without that access point of trust and love that teachers provide I wonder how many students would be left with difficult questions that they can't find answers to," said Aaron Aguilar a 6th Grade Teacher Willie Brown Elementary School.

Parents say they're worried that cuts could impact LGBTQ+ students disproportionately, saying a single educator can be the difference between a child's ultimate success and falling through the cracks.  

"Without Ms. Penny Francisco will lose an excellent math teacher and the schools strongest ally for the schools LGBTQ+ students," said San Francisco Public School parent Allyson Eddy Bravmann.

The district has said layoffs are a last resort, and that they will work to reassign workers. But, "While every effort will be made to sustain our existing workforce, in some cases there may not be an appropriate placement for every employee whose job is impacted."

The United Educators of San Francisco are calling on the district to hold off any layoffs, and instead are calling on the state to dip into its budget surplus and boost school budgets. "We must fund schools first, the school board must reject these layoffs to the actual positions that will help our students," said UESF President Cassondra Curiel.

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Commissioners are set to vote on which if any positions could be eliminated.

This is the first school board meeting since the recall effort, Commissioner Faauuga Moliga has already resigned, board President Gabriela López and Commissioner Alison Collins are expected to be here.