"The report sheds light on the simultaneous phenomena of a rising birth rate and a declining school-age population in San Francisco, and the reasons families with children under age 6 are most likely to leave the city. The data reveals that families in all socio-economic and ethnic groups are leaving, although middle income and African American families have shown the greatest decline in the past ten years. Reasons for leaving the city were probed by the researchers and include housing costs, cost of living generally, and school quality."
"We were most concerned that if we were locked into San Francisco with a mortgage, then if we got a school that was too far away or we didn't like the way it was run, we'd be trapped," Samaras said. Like many parents, she expressed frustration with San Francisco's school lottery system, which often bars children from attending their own neighborhood schools. School quality and the lottery system were two complaints that came up again and again in the parents' survey."
"We still see families leaving the city every day," Lee said. "We still feel like we're in the midst of a crisis."
"When a city loses its children, you lose a core group of citizens who put down roots and make investments in the city," says Margaret Brodkin, cochair of the mayor's Policy Council for Children, Youth, and Families and a rabble-rouser for children's issues. "People with kids play a different role in the community and feel a greater responsibility to the next generation. They're the ones with a vested interest in healthy libraries, public playgrounds, and, of course, schools." If they're leaving in droves, who's left to speak up for their needs?"
KQED discusses SFUSD's lottery with school officials, parent.