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Facing $125 Million Deficit, SFUSD Officials Work On Budget Plan

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – As the San Francisco Unified School District faces a growing budget deficit, district officials and the Board of Education on Tuesday said they're continuing to work on a budget balancing plan, which is set to be reviewed by the state's Department of Education next month.

Back in October, the district revealed it was facing a projected $100 million deficit for the 2022-2023 fiscal year and had been instructed by the California Department of Education to come up with a balancing plan by Dec. 15 and a final balanced budget due by June 2022.

On Tuesday, district officials said at the Board of Education meeting that the projected budget deficit is now estimated to be $125 million and is anticipated to continue deepening in the years after, based on the district's multi-year projections.

The district has said it will adopt a "Zero-Based Budgeting process" plan that could result in budget cuts but with minimum effect on students.

As the budget plan continues to be hammered out, district officials will hold several public meetings to discuss the plan, set to take place later this month and in early December. Board commissioners will then vote on a plan at the board's Dec. 14 meeting, one day before the deadline to submit the plan to state officials for review.

To assist the district in identifying ways to reduce the budget and advise the district on financial issues, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has assigned fiscal expert Elliott Duchon, district officials said.

"The magnitude of this challenge warrants a strategic, priorities-based approach and we are working diligently with our community, fiscal experts and the SF Board of Education to plan," SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews said in a statement.

"Ensuring that the district can deliver on its mission while remaining fiscally stable is our top priority as a Board," SF Board of Education president Gabriela Lopez said.

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