SFUSD to Transfer Gal Footballer due to Address Fraud

Gary is a sophomore at Galileo who participated in the Galileo Football Program the past 2 seasons. He is well-liked by many, has a great sense of humor, and, like all sophomores, just starting to figure out what being an academic student is all about. Needless to say, like most football players, Gary has developed a good relationship with his peers and teammates. All that Gary knows will come to an end next semester because a month ago, he received a letter citing “Address Fraud”. It clearly states that Gary lives full-time at a Daly City address but is using a San Francisco address to attend school in the city. The problem here is something many SFUSD students face but the district has failed to acknowledge-Gary grew up as a resident of San Francisco and a product of the SFUSD prior to moving to Daly City while grandma stayed behind to be in the more familiar place in the previous address.

Gary has 2 choices in response;

  1. fight and protest but it’s about $2000 in fees if he loses or
  2. admit to the fraud and face the SFUSD consequences.

He and his parents chose #2 and the SFUSD response was that Gary can stay in the school district but must choose from the following schools to transfer to because Galileo has a wait-list and it is unfair to those who are waiting to get in;

  1. Burton
  2. ISA
  3. Marshall
  4. O’Connell

He and his parents chose #1 with hopes of transferring back to Galileo asap.

So…why didn’t the SFUSD brass tell Gary to get out of the SFUSD and go to a Daly City school? The million dollar answer can possibly have 2 answers;

  1. They’re thinking, “We have schools that need more students. Any time we can get students out of another school that has a wait-list, we will put them at those schools. This way, we don’t have to close down any schools because it’ll look bad if we do.”
  2. We could leave him at his current school but if we move him, this can be a warning for all others who are doing the same thing. Let this punishment be an example.

Now that the ruling has been given and Gary is set to go to Burton next week, what are some consequences of this SFUSD action?

  1. The SFUSD will not be affected because there isn’t enough Gary’s to highly impact a school’s enrollment.
  2. The SFUSD can spend more money investigating others until more and more students leave the district for private schools and a more affordable living situation that doesn’t have a San Francisco address.
  3. Gary will have to get used to a new high school environment; make new friends, get used to new teachers, and who knows what because high schools aren’t all the same.
  4. Gary’s education and high school experience are life-changing and lasts a life-time. These things will be highly impacted but they aren’t things the SFUSD value because it’s a game of numbers; how many are enrolled, what the test scores are, and how many fraudulent students we have caught.

The argument for “Address Fraud” is about…you guessed it, $. Money as in tax dollars. Families who don’t live in the city don’t pay city tax. Although, some of those families work in the city and therefore, paying some sort of city tax. Then why do parents want their kids going to a SFUSD school if they don’t care if it’s Lowell-the most prestigious public high school in the city? The parents are thinking:

  1. I work in the city. I drop off the kids in the schools in the city. I pick up the kids in the schools in the city. That sounds easier.
  2. If I can’t pick up the kids, grandma or other family members can pick them up and take them to their home until I can come and pick them up.
  3. My kids grew up in the SFUSD, knowing the neighborhoods, knowing the schools, knowing most kids they will move on with. Why not keep them in that constant?

It’s also about the money each student brings to the district. That is why Gary is not at a Daly City school but is allowed to stay in the district. Each student who attends school for 50% of the day (or was just show up for 1 class?) equates to dollars for the district. If all students decide to attend a school in Daly City or a private school, the SFUSD will not exist. It’s a no-brainer but why is the SFUSD hating on these kids who aren’t cheating to get into Lowell and who are helping to fund the district? One would wonder if they do this to their own kids or kids of people they know or to kids of people who work in the SFUSD district?

What they should have done:

  1. Send Gary the letter.
  2. Ask his parents to come down to the district office to fill out papers to officially have that address change.
  3. Allow Gary to be added onto the Galileo wait-list and if there is no room then Gary transfers.

Gary will be missed. Some of the boys are going to be at his “fare-well lunch” during the break. And most of Gary’s teachers will not even know what happened because the school and the teachers do not get notified. They just know that Gary has transferred but everyone who does is hoping that Gary will get back to Galileo and graduate with his classmates in 2 years. By the way, Gary has a sister at Presidio Middle School. They are moving her to Marina Middle School which is a 10-minute walk from Galileo. Ironic isn’t it? If Gary was still at Galileo, that would be perfect for any parent.