Supervisors Wiener and Tang Announce Deal with Mayor Ed Lee to Fund Algebra for Public School Students

Supervisors Wiener and Tang & Mayor Lee announce funding to pay for low-income students to complete Algebra 1 through private courses

San Francisco Today Supervisors Scott Wiener and Katy Tang announced that, in partnership with Mayor Ed Lee, they have successfully secured funding to help low-income students access additional math instruction to earn their algebra 1 course credit. Eight grade algebra was eliminated from the San Francisco public school curriculum as part of the adoption of the Common Core curriculum.

Last month, Supervisors Wiener and Tang introduced a $70,000 budget supplemental to fund online algebra courses for low-income students. Mayor Ed Lee stepped in to identify existing funding as well as expand accredited course options to Algebra 1 or Geometry. By providing these options, students will have the opportunity to stay on an advanced math schedule while still sequencing math content in a way that honors the goals of the Common Core curriculum. Supervisors Wiener and Tang will work with the Mayor’s office, the Department of Children Youth and their Families, and the School District to help students choose from an approved online program, summer school option, or dual enrollment.

“I’m glad the Mayor stepped in to help solve this problem so that our public school students can continue to accelerate in math and compete for the 21st century jobs this region is creating,” said Supervisor Wiener. “Our public schools should be places of opportunity, and we should be encouraging all those who want to excel in math and other subjects. Making sure that all of our students have access to the same classes as their peers in private schools is an important equity issue.”

“If students are ready to accelerate in math, they should be given every opportunity to do so,” said Supervisor Tang. “We should be setting students up for success in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). I look forward to working with the SFUSD to find other solutions to give all students the opportunity to realize their full potential in math education.”

“I wanted to ensure our students had opportunities to excel in high school math and find alternatives that keep them competitive despite the changes in the curriculum across the country,” said Mayor Lee. “Our students learn in many different ways. We wanted to provide multiple options that would work for different students. We recognize that many of our students come eager and prepared to take on additional classes, but not all of them have the resources to do the work outside a traditional classroom setting. These funds will help support those who need the funds and choose to accelerate their coursework.”

Private schools in San Francisco and many other public school districts in California still offer 8th grade algebra, while some San Francisco public school students seek out fee-based alternative programs outside of school so they can attempt to place out of algebra in 9th grade. This funding will help provide more options for students to take high school math courses in a sequence that balances sound instruction and scheduling preferences.

CA State Senator. Urbanist. Environmentalist. Advocate for transit, housing, clean energy, criminal justice reform, health, ending poverty. Democrat. 🏳️‍🌈

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