Friday, January 13, 2006

School Shrinkage in San Francisco Brings Protest

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Several hundred angry parents, students, teachers and principals crowded into a middle school auditorium in San Francisco on Thursday night to demand that their schools stay open.

The San Francisco Board of Education was scheduled to vote on closing or merging 26 of the city's 119 public schools, a move that could save $5 million but would affect 6,087 schoolchildren.

In the end, after more than five hours of public comments, the board postponed its decision until Thursday. The board agreed it should wait and see whether the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would provide the district with the needed funds to keep the schools open next school year.

"We're in an emergency situation, and the city needs to step in,'' said board member Mark Sanchez just before the board voted to delay closing schools.

The auditorium at Everett Middle School was, at times, in chaos. People in the audience yelled, chanted and screamed at the seven-member school board, prompting board President Norman Yee to plead with the crowd to keep quiet. Others waited patiently for a turn at the microphone, where speakers were given a minute each to tell the board why their school should stay open.

The financially stressed school district has lost 800 to 1,000 students every year for the past five years, a trend that is expected to continue for another five years. But the district operates the same number of schools it did in the 1980s, a situation deemed no longer fiscally responsible by Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and the school board.
Look how inefficient public education is.This is truly a Blue State story.Could artifically high real estate prices have to do with the drop in children?? Heh,at least the dog population in San Francisco is going strong.