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SF school board spending increases while schools have their budgets cut

San Francisco’s school board has increased its own budget many years in a row. But schools were forced to find new ways to spend as their budgets were cut.

The board has increased its budget four years in a row, spending more on travel expenses to conferences, riding around in taxicabs and paying for a board member’s babysitter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The board has increased spending by 28 percent in four years, which included the cost of televising board meetings and increases in staff salaries and benefits. The Chronicle constructed these findings by searching 600 pages of public records.

In each of those years, the board failed to stay within a set budget, dipping into the district’s primary spending account to cover all differences.

During the 2009-10 fiscal year, the board spent $492,629, which included $22,000 for catered meals prior to board meetings, $7,300 for a Portland conference attended by six of the seven board members rather than the usual two or three attendees, and $766 in taxis used by one board member during a five-day conference. 

Earlier in the year, schools in the city were forced to come up with a plan to cut $113 million in funding for the next two years, according to the Huffington Post.

The school district has a $500 million annual budget.