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San Francisco School Board Votes To Change Elementary School Assignment Policy

Andrew Garcia
The SFUSD Board as they vote on the new school assignment resolution

The San Francisco Unified School District Board, Tuesday night, approved a new school assignment process for elementary schools.

Like many school districts, San Francisco Unified struggles with equity issues. The goal of the new policy is to integrate schools and create a stronger tie between schools and their surrounding community.

Here’s how it will work:

Each school will be placed into a geographic zone. Parents can only apply to schools in the zone where they live, with a possible exception for students receiving special education.

Parents will be able to rank which schools in their zone that they want and even request access to specific school programs.

Alongside parent preference, ‘Diversity Categories,’ such as household income and academic performance, will be placed into a formula to decide what school each student will attend.

While the plan passed, Commissioner Allison Collins voted against it. She said integration is about much more than an enrollment algorithm.

“The work that we need to do if we want to meaningfully integrate schools, is also address anti-blackness.”

Over the next year-and-half the district will draw up the school zones and educate families about the new system.

The kindergarten class of 2023 will be the first to test the new system, the first of what will be many tests in their school career.

This story was written by KALW’s Andrew Garcia and voiced by Annelise Finney.

Hi! My name is Andrew Garcia (He/Him) and I am pursing a career in public radio as a audio producer/journalist.
Annelise was born and raised in the East Bay and has a background in oral history and urban studies. For the last four and half years, she's worked as a criminal defense investigator at a public defenders office in the Bronx, New York and at an appellate defenders office in the Bay Area. As an investigator, she frequently interviews people involved in different parts of the criminal punishment system. Through her work, she has become passionate about the power of personal narratives and compelling stories to increase cross-cultural understanding and initate change.