SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco Mayor London Breed and members of the city’s Board of Supervisors announced Monday a new plan to continue classes for the Older Adults program at City College of San Francisco, which were at risk of being cut as the school faces funding deficits.
According to the new plan, resources from the Dignity Fund, passed by voters in 2016 as Proposition I, would be used to leverage existing contracts with community-based organizations to keep the classes going for the next three years.
Under the plan, the city would be replicating the classes without the involvement of City College officials.
The program’s 17 classes are spread across 13 different senior and community centers and serve about 100 older adults and people with disabilities. The classes include physical fitness, wellness, nutrition, language arts, art, and music appreciation.
“City College is having to make some tough choices to address ongoing structural financial issues, and while that is happening we can lessen the impact for our seniors who visit our community centers to enrich their lives,” Breed said in a news release.
“Many of our older adults rely on these classes, which keep them active and connected to the community, and I’m glad we’re able to find a way to ensure that they can continue,” she said.
The school’s annual cost to operate the Older Adults classes is about $216,000, according to the mayor’s office.
City College officials were not immediately available to comment on the mayor’s plan to provide funding, but Chancellor Mark Rocha had sent a letter to the mayor and other city officials earlier this month saying the school intended to make its own plans to address proposed cuts to classes.
The available Dignity Fund revenue being used to fund the classes will be distributed to City College through the city’s Department of Disability and Aging Services. The community-based organizations are responsible for administering the classes by securing instructors, supervising curriculum and managing student enrollment.
“When we created the Dignity Fund, it was with the very intention to secure long-term funding to serve our seniors with quality programs. With the senior population on the rise, San Francisco cannot afford losing the limited services we have for our aging adults,” Board of Supervisors president Norman Yee said.
“The College would like to thank Mayor Breed, Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, and Supervisors (Raphael) Mandelman, (Aaron) Peskin, (Ahsha) Safai and (Katherine) Stefani, for their leadership and creativity to ensure older adults will have access to programming at city locations,” President of the school’s Board of Trustees Alex Randolph said in a statement.
“We appreciate their efforts, and look forward to continued discussions with the city and our community partners about long-term sustainable funding measures, while the college addresses its budget issues,” he said.
Back in November, it was revealed that the school had paused some 300 classes from its spring 2020 schedule as a result of budget cuts, in order to close a reported $13 million deficit.
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