Sep 19, 2022 - News

SFUSD gets $6.5M from Salesforce

A student reads a book at their desk.
Students read books in the Presidio Middle School library in San Francisco. Photo credit: Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Salesforce announced Monday $25 million in grants to public schools throughout the country, including $6.5 million for both the San Francisco Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District.

Why it matters: Public schools are notoriously underfunded, a problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. SFUSD's enrollment has decreased by thousands since the start of the pandemic, and fewer students means less funding from the state of California.

State of play: In San Francisco, the Salesforce cash infusion will be used for science, technology, engineering and math instruction, more support for middle school educators and reimagining the middle school experience by adding elective courses, project-based learning and more.

  • SFUSD serves about 49,000 students across 112 schools.
  • The funding is part of Salesforce's larger 10-year commitment to support education, bringing the company's total school-related funding to more than $165 million.

Between the lines: SFUSD is facing teacher shortages, issues with its $14 million payroll system and drama around Ann Hsu, a commissioner on the school board who recently made "anti-Black and racist" remarks.

By the numbers: SFUSD has an operating budget of $1.1 billion for this school year, which began in August.

  • Enrollment for the 2021-22 school year decreased by 3,574 students, or 6.8%, from the 2019-2020 school year.
  • On average, public school districts in California annually receive about $10,000 per student out of the state budget.

What they're saying: Matt Wayne, superintendent of SFUSD, said in a statement that Salesforce's grant money "continues to have a profoundly positive impact" on public school students in the city.

  • SFUSD has received $66.5 million from Salesforce over the past decade, including the grant announced today.
  • Ebony Beckwith, chief business officer and CEO of the Salesforce Foundation, said in a statement to Axios that "schools are the backbone of our communities, and we believe businesses play a critical role in supporting public education ... we're committed to building up and nurturing the next generation of leaders in the Bay Area and beyond."

Zoom out: SFUSD and Oakland Unified School District are among 11 schools and organizations receiving some of the $25 million from Salesforce, including Chicago Public Schools and the New York City Department of Education.

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