San Francisco City College approves teacher layoffs

The board of trustees at San Francisco's City College voted on Friday to approve layoffs and budget cuts, despite protests against it. 

"It’s very heavy, it’s very painful. I am concerned about my own future, I’m concerned about my students," said City College of San Francisco faculty member Tehmina Khan.

Teachers had set up tents in front of Conlan Hall, hoping that by sleeping outside, they'd be able to pressure the board to cancel plans to let go of 38 full-time faculty, and more than 100 part-time teachers.

"This is not an easy recommendation to bring forth, but outlined in accreditation standards and board policy, it is the recommendation of the chancellor to move forward with the adoption of the resolution," said City College of San Francisco chancellor David Martin, ahead of the board's 5 to 1 vote in favor of the layoffs.

Administrators say the college needed to make up for about a $7 million budget gap. And in February 2021, the school determined it would consider layoffs to make up for the shortfall.

"You seem to be telling us that you don’t want our students to gain those critical reading and writing skills that are essential to success in college and success in life," said Khan after the vote.

Some of the teachers who will be impacted by the layoffs have been at the school for more than 10 years and many were hired within the last five years. 

According to a report from the state's Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, the college has seen a 35% decline in student enrollment over the course of eight years, but staffing has not been reduced.

City College considered layoffs last year, but reached a 1-year agreement with the teacher's union.

The current faculty layoffs are expected to take effect before the start of the fall semester in August.