Mayor Ed Lee's budget includes $6M for ailing SFUSD 

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The San Francisco Unified School District will receive nearly $6 million from The City’s rainy-day fund if the Board of Supervisors approves Mayor Ed Lee’s budget for fiscal year 2012-13.

Like other districts across California, the SFUSD has seen its state funding shrink dramatically in recent years. The rainy-day fund was created by a charter amendment in 2003, and since 2005 the district has relied on annual cash infusions to help shore up its budget and prevent layoffs.

Every year, the SFUSD is eligible to receive up to a quarter of the existing fund, which has dwindled to $25 million from a high of around $120 million in 2006, according to the City Controller’s Office.

District officials said they were facing a $35 million deficit next fiscal year without the money, and even with it more than 100 faculty and staff could still lose their jobs. However, this week the district said it was rescinding 97 layoffs in anticipation of receiving the funds.

In March, Lee suggested that The City could withhold the $6 million until the district unloaded surplus property. That idea proved controversial, and the mayor backed away from it. However, the district later sold a former school building to San Francisco State University for $11 million.

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Amy Crawford

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