News Update

San Francisco may ask voters for OK to shift $60 million in excess tax dollars to schools

Voters in San Francisco may be asked in November if $60 million in excess city property tax revenue should be transferred to the local school district for student and community programs.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a public hearing on the proposed shift Wednesday drew both support and criticism. If approved by the city Board of Supervisors, the Student Success Fund ballot initiative, which would amend the city charter, would wind up on the November ballot.

If voters were to back the would-be ballot measure, the fund would support school and community programs to improve academic achievement or provide social-emotional services to students, the newspaper reported.

“We are failing a shocking number of students,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who co-authored the measure, citing subpar literacy rates at schools across the district. “It is a shame and it is a disgrace, and every adult should be doing something about it.”

But Kim Tavaglione, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, told supervisors that the plan could make city workers vulnerable to job losses if there is an economic downturn. During the Great Recession, she said, “city workers paid a hefty price and people went out the door.”

Supervisors are expected to vote in July on whether to put the plan on the November ballot.