SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco Unified School District is going to court with the state over school funding, just one of the challenges Superintendent Carlos Garcia has faced in his four years as chief.

“This last fiscal budget that was approved in the legislature made it so that there was a deal cut where we couldn’t lay off anybody,” said Garcia. “But part of that deal was unbeknownst to us. Proposition 98 says that school districts get 40 percent of the entire state budget. And what they did was they took out $2 billion out of the budget and then they said, now you get 40 percent of what’s left. The law is very clear that we get 40 percent of all of the budget and not just the part that they want to give us.”

KCBS Interviews SFUSD Superintendent Carlos Garcia:

Garcia said that the fight is just one of the challenges he has faced since taking over a superintendent. But it hasn’t changed his goal of offering a first-rate education to all students in the district.

“In 2008, we took it upon ourselves to develop a strategic plan that talked about student achievement. The achievement gap is a civil rights issue,” Garcia said. “It’s not just an education issue. Because if an African American child isn’t successful, then we’re putting them on the pipeline to prison. We have to have a discussion about race and institutionalized racism. We’ve talked about this stuff to death. We have to lay out how we’re going to get there.”

Garcia said he is constantly evaluating teachers and principals and has a simple criteria: if they are not good enough for his own kids, they aren’t good enough for the district.

He said overall, his goal is to make sure every child and student has the ability to go on to a university or get a job from their education in  San Francisco.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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