Sep 11, 2023 - News

San Francisco public school district gets $5.5 million from Salesforce

San Francisco Mayor London Breed sits in a classroom at Everett Middle School in 2022. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

San Francisco schools are set to receive a $5.5 million grant from Salesforce focused on career-oriented education but the broader problem remains: a massive deficit the city's schools are still facing that could lead to staffing cuts and school closures.

Why it matters: SFUSD is on a path toward bankruptcy, as the district has overspent for years, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

  • Yes, but: The funding from Salesforce can only go so far.

What's happening: The grant will go toward career-focused education largely focused on new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

Of note: SFUSD and educational nonprofit organizations in the city have received $86 million from Salesforce over the past 11 years, including the grant announced Friday.

What they're saying: "Companies and schools alike are racing to understand what AI means for young people – whether it be how it's impacting homework assignments today to how to train students for the jobs of tomorrow," Salesforce executive Suzanne DiBianca said in a written statement.

Context: SFUSD has an operating budget of $1.28 billion for this school year, which began in August.

  • Yes, but: The district is expected to have a $36.4 million budget shortfall this year and a $25.4 million deficit the following school year, according to the Chronicle.

What to watch: San Francisco Supervisor Connie Chan has announced plans to hold a public hearing on the school district's finances.

  • "The deficit is now forcing many families to face the possibilities of school closures, furthering the inequity in our public-school education system," Chan wrote in an op-ed for the San Francisco Richmond Review.

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