There’s nowhere for our kids to go.
If you’re a resident of Mission Bay, South Beach or Rincon Hill, how many times have you heard those words from your neighbors? In the past week, I’ve talked to five families in Mission Bay who told me that they’re leaving. Five families who felt that the city had no place for them and their kids. It’s disheartening to hear as a School Board Member.
I get it. There are over 15,000 residents in Mission Bay, including many people with children or planning to have children, but currently no elementary, middle or high schools -- public or private -- in the area. What kind of message does that send to our families and residents?
These families have done the math. Soon, we won’t have enough classrooms for the number of students in San Francisco. There are 7,000 units of housing anticipated to be built in the area, but not the schools and services to match that growth. The city hasn’t built a new school in over 20 years! Storefronts sit empty for months or years; affordable grocery stores are nonexistent in the neighborhood; parks have been gated and waiting for final approval for too long. Meanwhile, a 2.2-acre lot near the Mission Bay Circle by UCSF has sat there growing weeds and underutilized for years.
Our families deserve access to quality neighborhood schools. They deserve neighborhood services. They deserve intentional city planning that meets the needs of residents, not just developers.
Hopefully you’ve heard by now...in 2016 the School Board finally took action and unanimously passed my resolution to direct our Superintendent to plan a new school in Mission Bay!
The new Mission Bay School is slated to open its doors in the 2023 school year. We’ll break ground within the next 2 years. This is a huge win for the community, and wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the strong support of the residents, businesses, institutions, and families!
I’m proud to have worked with a broad coalition -- Mission Bay School Steering Committee, Mission Bay Families, the South Beach Democratic Club, UCSF, the Mission Bay CAC, and parents from Mission Bay, Potrero Hill and Dogpatch -- to secure the funding and commitment from the school district to build the school.
We’re still in the early phases though, and what we need now is all Mission Bay and South Beach residents, whether you have kids or not, to engage in the process.
How do you get involved?
Over the next several months as the new school year begins, we’ll be working closely with Mission Bay residents to determine the educational program of the school and make sure that it truly reflects the needs of the neighborhood it serves. What school levels should be included? What design elements are essential? The next community outreach meeting will be on October 17th (location and time TBD). E-mail me if you’d like to receive news about the next steps.
Who will the school serve?
The new school will serve its first class of students in 2023. There has not been a final determination yet what level of schooling will be included, though it is most likely that it will be a K-5 school.
How is it funded?
Funding for the campus is secured from a segment of $100 million set-aside for school construction in Bayview and Mission Bay. The money comes from a $744 million facilities bond City voters approved in 2016. Yes, we will likely seek additional private funding to support the school. But the money to build the school has been secured and committed!
Mission Bay and the broader District 6 need a Supervisor who can push to make sure the project is seen through. That will be one of my top priorities. As Supervisor, I will:
Work with the Mission Bay School Steering Committee to hold the School District to our set timeline and benchmarks.
Ensure that the school is available as a community space and asset to the broader Mission Bay/South Beach community.
Bring more new schools to our quickly growing District. We can’t stop with Mission Bay. We need more schools in Rincon Hill and SOMA, and stronger support for our existing SOMA school Bessie Carmichael K-8. You want to develop here? Help us build a new school and invest in Bessie. The rapidly-growing neighborhoods of District 6 desperately need the support.
Fill empty storefronts in the community to make sure our residents have the services and resources they need, including child care facilities and preschools.
Work with our Planning Department and developers to make sure our growth takes into account congestion, public transit, parks, greenspace, and the people already living here.
During my two terms as a School Board member, I’ve visited every public K-12 school in San Francisco and have seen how hard it is for families to make decisions about where to send their kids or whether to stay in the city. San Franciscans have long been rightfully concerned about whether this city can be family friendly, especially in the face of exploding housing costs. Investing in high quality, state of the art schools in every neighborhood is one way for us to help do that, and a critical step forward in the fight for a city where children and families are truly prioritized and valued.
For more information about the Mission Bay school, visit http://www.missionbayfamilies.org/