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San Francisco County, CA November 8, 2011 Election
Proposition H
School District Student Assignment
City and County of San Francisco

Declaration of Policy - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 91525 / 49.96% Yes votes ...... 91678 / 50.04% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Arguments |

Shall it be City policy to encourage the San Francisco Unified School District to change its student assignment system so that it places the highest priority on assigning each student to the school closest to home, after placing siblings in the same school?

Summary Prepared by San Francisco Department of Elections:
Proposition H would make it City policy to encourage the School District to ensure that:

  • all students have the opportunity to attend a quality neighborhood school;
  • after assigning siblings to the same school, the highest priority should be to assign each student to the school closest to home; and
  • the School District should provide students with the opportunity to attend schools with language immersion or other special programs, even if those schools are not close to their homes.

Fiscal Impact from San Francisco Controller:
City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition H: Should the proposed declaration of policy be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would not affect the cost of government.

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Arguments For Proposition H Arguments Against Proposition H
YES ON PROP H! Last year, a group of concerned parents joined to advocate for their children in the ongoing debate over the San Francisco Unified School District's Student Assignment System (SAS). San Francisco loses many frustrated families every year. This is due largely to the current SAS policies, which do not favor + and in most cases do not even consider + neighborhood proximity when offering seats at overcrowded schools.

Imagine living only blocks away from your neighborhood school, and being told your child must attend a school, far from home. Not only does this not make practical sense, it also costs taxpayers more money, causes unnecessary traffic, takes away from family and study time, imposes undue financial and logistical burden for parents (especially with children attending different schools), and makes parent involvement difficult.

In the latest version of the SAS, preference is given to families living in census tracts whose students typically score lowest. At face value, this seems like good social justice. But in practice, it's open to fraud; and it sends the message that the schools in those neighborhoods can never be made worth attending.

Passing Prop H will tell the School District and Board that voters want a student assignment system based on quality neighborhood schools for all; that it's time to bring quality neighborhood schools to all students, rather than telling some students to leave their neighborhood to pursue a quality education. This will enhance the quality of life for all students and residents of San Francisco by reducing travel time, stress, traffic congestion, pollution, and wasted resources for busing, and will allow parents and community to become more involved with their schools.

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Proposition H is strongly opposed by every school board member, the local teachers and the advocates for San Francisco public schools. DON'T BE FOOLED by the small group of proponents. Proposition H is a costly boondoggle masquerading as public policy. If the School District were to implement these ill-conceived ideas, students would be uprooted and their education put on hold. Countless hours of district staff time would be diverted from curriculum to reorganizing the school boundaries. No one benefits from that brand of chaos.

Where were the Prop H proponents during hundreds of hours of meetings and neighborhood discussions on this topic? Where were the Prop H proponents when the district unanimously adopted a local school and parental choice program to benefit ALL FAMILIES whether they want to attend a neighborhood school or a school of choice?

At a time when revenues for schools are being cut at the state level, the authors of Prop H want us to spend time and money to do what we already accomplished LAST YEAR!

Join with the teachers, student support professionals, administrators, school board members, state assembly members, LGBT community leaders, school advocates and parents and say NO to Proposition H.

United Educators of San Francisco Dennis Kelly, President, United Educators of San Francisco Linda Plack Vice-President UESF* Susan Solomon Parent/Teacher* Carolyn King Samoa Grandparent/Paraprofessional SFUSD* Ken Tray Teacher, SFUSD*

  • For identification purposes only; author is signing as an individual and not on behalf of an organization.
No on Proposition H

Proposition H is another well-intentioned fatally flawed measure. While Prop H claims it will help students, it will cause more harm than good. People closest to the classroom, parents and teachers and school board members, are urging a NO on Prop H because it is COSTLY, UNNECESSARY and POORLY WRITTEN.

Shrinking revenues and catastrophic cuts to public education, Prop H would create a new costly requirement for our school district. Rather than helping students in the classroom, Proposition H would advise school district officials to dedicate time and resources to create a whole new bureaucracy to administer student attendance assignments.

Prop H is so badly written that it can cause chaos in our schools by mandating the school board create reassignment of students in our district even after they have started the school year! The language in Proposition H takes effect immediately even though the school year has begun. Most of the student population could be forced to change schools in the middle of the semester. Students and parents who have come to know their teachers and family routines could see themselves uprooted and transferred to other school sites.

Proposition H is totally unnecessary. Parents already have the right to apply for specialized programs or to choose a school located near their homes. Parents also have the right to appeal to the school board or to address other education issues.

We urge you to Vote No on H and stand with teachers, parents and other public school advocates opposed to this costly, unnecessary and poorly written proposal.

United Educators of San Francisco Dennis Kelly, President

Mark Leno Hydra Mendoza, Commissioner* Norman Yee Commissioner* Rachel Norton Commissioner* Jill Wynns Commissioner* Emily Murase Commissioner* Kim-Shree Maufas Commissioner* Sandra Fewer Commissioner* Eric Mar Jane Kim

  • For identification purposes only; author is signing as an individual and not on behalf of an organization.

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Yes on Prop H.

Proposition H is a necessary REFORM to our current flawed Student Assignment System in San Francisco. The placement process is a system that punishes parents, causes unnecessary stress on children and families due to placement in schools across town, increases government spending, increases traffic and carbon footprint due to unnecessary transportation, strips our neighborhoods of a sense of community. It fails to address a crucial responsibility of our current school board and district- ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT and support of students and families., in every neighborhood.

The opponents of Prop H have claimed that it will be "costly" and "will create chaos"+ two COMPLETELY FRAUDULENT, factually incorrect statements:

  • The controller's statement clearly states that this policy change costs taxpayers NOTHING. In addition, family car trips and demand on public transportation will decrease significantly, as well as the volume of student assignment appeals.

  • When Prop H is passed, the placement process will ave been entirely completed for this school year, and the soonest it could take effect is next year. There will be NO students transferring or "switching" schools when this policy change passes, it only affects future applicants.

Many families today have little opportunity to attend schools near their home. Unless a school has language immersion or other special programs, neighborhood proximity should count highest after sibling placement!

Let's send a message to the school board and district that students have a right to attend schools near their home.

Vote Yes on Prop H!

Students First

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