By Steve Gunn
MUSKEGON, Mich. – Prior to the 2010-11 school year, the San Francisco Unified School District made a series of painful spending cuts in an effort to eliminate a $113 million budget deficit.
Teachers, principals and support staff were laid off, according the media reports. The school year was shortened by four days, teachers were given unpaid furlough days and many programs like summer school, art, music, and special education were trimmed back.
Yet somehow the district found the resources to spend $134 million on salaries for athletic coaches and other extracurricular labor costs, $44.8 million on health insurance for union employees (employees only contributed a combined $14.7 million), more than $800,000 on national board certification bonuses for teachers, and more than $500,000 on retention bonuses for teachers.
Those unnecessary costs and others are explored in “Sucking the Life Out of America’s Public Schools: The Expense of Teachers Union Contracts, Part 8, United Educators of San Francisco Contract.” The new report was posted this morning at EAGnews.org.
The report is part of EAGnews.org’s continuing series on runaway union labor costs in some of the nation’s largest public school districts. Previous reports have been released for the Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Miami school districts.
The final report in the series, focusing on Denver Public Schools, will be released Thursday. All nine reports will be posted and available at EAGnews.org.