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San Francisco City Hall officials announced Monday that they are stepping in to save 17 of 50 City College of San Francisco Older Adults Program classes from being cut next year.

The non-credit courses for seniors were on the chopping block as the college faces a projected $13 million budget deficit for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Some of the courses include wellness and fitness classes, art, music appreciation and nutrition education, the Mayor’s office said.

Breed, along with Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee and four other supervisors, plan to use funding from the 2016 voter-approved Dignity Fund to save the 17 classes. The fund was established to provide services and programs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Shannon Badiee on Flickr City College of San Francisco, Calif. Ocean Campus

Officials said the Dignity Fund will at least keep the 17 courses available over the next three years with an annual cost of $216,000.

Breed said in a statement:

“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.”

The mayor added:

“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.”

City College Mission Campus
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sjsharktank/3560686356">Marlon E</a>/Flickr City College of San Francisco, Calif. Mission Campus.

Several of the courses are offered at senior centers citywide and those administrations will now take the lead in hiring instructors, monitoring enrollment and supervising curriculum.

Meanwhile, hundreds of other CCSF classes were slashed for the 2020 spring semester as the school contends with financial strain.

At the last BOS meeting before winter break, Supervisor Shamann Walton proposed a $2.7 million budget supplemental to the current fiscal year as a way to fund classes cut.

Supervisor Gordon Mar also announced he was working with the City Attorney’s Office to draft legislation that would set aside CCSF funding from the Public Education Enrichment Fund.

PEEF was approved by voters in 2004, at time when state education funding was at a low and district resources were dwindling. The City contributes annually from the General Fund to facilitate educational youth programs.

City College of San Francisco
Fernando de Sousa/Flickr City College of San Francisco, Calif. Downtown Campus. (Fernando de Sousa/Flickr)

Mar’s proposal, which would come in the form of a charter amendment, would expand PEEF to include City College.

Mar said in a statement earlier this month:

“We need a more comprehensive and long-term solution to the underlying budgetary problems facing City College. As the State cuts funding for community-serving education, we have a responsibility as a City to step up and ensure our immigrants, seniors, older adults, and workforce have the classes they need.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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