San Francisco Policies for Assigning Students to Schools, Proposition H (November 2011)

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A San Francisco Policies for Assigning Students to Schools Amendment, Proposition H was on the November 8, 2011 ballot for voters in San Francisco, where it appears to have been very narrowly defeated.

The approval of Proposition H would meant that it would become an official policy of the City of San Francisco to encourage San Francisco Unified School District to give the highest priority to assigning each student to the school closest to the student's home.

Election results

San Francisco Proposition H
Defeatedd No91,67850.04%
Yes 91,525 49.96%
Election results are from the San Francisco elections office as of 5:30 a.m. PST on Thursday, November 24, 2011.



The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition H were signed by:

  • Chris Miller, Chairman, Students First
  • Tami Aviles (Gin)
  • Carol Endo

Arguments in favor

They made these arguments:

  • "San Francisco loses many frustrated families every year. This is due largely to the current SAS policies, which do not favor – and in most cases do not even consider – neighborhood proximity when offering seats at overcrowded schools."
  • "Imagine living only blocks away from your neighborhood school, and being told your child must attend a school, far from home. Not only does this not make practical sense, it also costs taxpayers more money, causes unnecessary traffic, takes away from family and study time, imposes undue financial and logistical burden for parents (especially with children attending different schools), and makes parent involvement difficult."
  • "Passing Prop H will tell the School District and Board that voters want a student assignment system based on quality neighborhood schools for all; that it’s time to bring quality neighborhood schools to all students, rather than telling some students to leave their neighborhood to pursue a quality education. This will enhance the quality of life for all students and residents of San Francisco by reducing travel time, stress, traffic congestion, pollution, and wasted resources for busing, and will allow parents and community to become more involved with their schools."



The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition H were signed by:

  • United Educators of San Francisco, Dennis Kelly, President
  • Mark Leno
  • Hydra Mendoza
  • Norman Yee
  • Rachel Norton
  • Jill Wynns
  • Emily Murase
  • Kim-Shree Maufas
  • Sandra Fewer
  • Eric Mar
  • Jane Kim

Arguments against

The ballot guide arguments against Proposition H said:

  • "Proposition H is another well-intentioned fatally flawed measure. While Prop H claims it will help students, it will cause more harm than good. People closest to the classroom, parents and teachers and school board members, are urging a NO on Prop H because it is COSTLY, UNNECESSARY and POORLY WRITTEN."
  • "Shrinking revenues and catastrophic cuts to public education, Prop H would create a new costly requirement for our school district. Rather than helping students in the classroom, Proposition H would advise school district officials to dedicate time and resources to create a whole new bureaucracy to administer student attendance assignments."
  • "Prop H is so badly written that it can cause chaos in our schools by mandating the school board create reassignment of students in our district even after they have started the school year! The language in Proposition H takes effect immediately even though the school year has begun. Most of the student population could be forced to change schools in the middle of the semester. Students and parents who have come to know their teachers and family routines could see themselves uprooted and transferred to other school sites."

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

PROPOSITION H: "Shall it be City policy to encourage the San Francisco Unified School District to change its student assignment system so that it places the highest priority on assigning each student to the school closest to home, after placing siblings in the same school?"[1]

Path to the ballot

Proposition H earned its spot on the ballot through the collection of signatures on initiative petitions. 7,168 signatures were required (5% of the total number of people who voted for mayor in 2007).

External links

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