San Francisco’s population of children has been shrinking as parents seek better schools, more space and affordable housing. Is the city driving its families away? As part of Forum’s series on the 2010 Census, “Our Changing Communities,” we discuss whether San Francisco is a good place to raise kids.

Maria Su, director of the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families for the City of San Francisco.
Margaret Brodkin, initiative director for New Day for Learning, an education reform initiative promoting community school collaboration.
Erika Kelly, news producer at KQED Public Radio
David Latterman, associate director at the Leo T. Macarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, University of San Francisco

  • Ksf

    Why is SF trying to close the Visitacion Valley Community Center that serves over 200 kids and their families? The city could be helping to keep this vital center and bring it into a new era instead of disrupting care for these families and seniors.

    • Ksf

      Eliminating funding is a drastic way of “restructuring” for an almost 100 year old organization that has served a community by providing childcare, food pantry, senior activities, a community meting place, education and jobs to one of the city’s most forgotten neighborhoods.

  • Jessie

    We will most likely be leaving San Francisco in a few months with our 19 month old due to being Ellis Act evicted from our home of 8 years. Rent control allows many low income families with children to live in this city, and California’s Ellis Act really undermines those families. If you can’t afford one of the new lofts or TICs it is increasingly hard to stay here. We would never be able to pay “market rate” rent in our neighborhood. Our choice is either to move into someone else’s neighborhood as a gentrifying force, or leave the city.

    • Odd Post

      You have it backwards. It is rent control that keeps the rates so high. With Ellis Act as the only and very expensive way for a landlord toget their house back many property owner don’t put their places on the market or only offer them as vacation rentals. You other reason for not moving is that you don’t want to be part of a “gentrifying force”?!?! Really this is major concern? Odd post

      For the record I’m not a landlord.

  • Johnny

    The people in the forum don’t have any kids applying to the SFO school system, when they said that things are changing….not really! from 7 families applying to the school district this year none got their top 10 choices. Has anyone of them know the stress and cost of going to preschool? swimming classes? cost of going to the museums? out dated parks? This is becoming a city friendlier to young adults and gays rather than families.

  • Kay neumann

    We moved to San Francisco in 1990 with a 6mos old and a 4th grader. After touring the schools for our oldest, I didn’t feel like there was a safe Middle School for her to attend when she got to that point let alone a High School. So we ended up enrolling her in a private school.  Our youngest started at a private school but then we ended up moving her to our neighborhood elementary school and loved it. The teachers were great and the parent involvement was outstanding.  We loved having our kids in the city with all the activities and we would have stayed except for the public school system after 5th grade.   As our youngest got older and middle school got closer we could not afford to send the both to girls to private school so we moved to Marin where the schools were fantastic K-12.  Why can’t there be more K-8 schools and better High Schools?  We were put on waiting list after waiting list and never could get into anything but Mission High.  When my daughter and I toured the campus neither of us felt comfortable there but that was our only choice or pay 20K per year for a private education. 

  • Mppsweeney

    Good discussion, thank for this.  As the parents of a 2 year-old, we are struggling with staying knowing that schools are inadequate and that our choice of school is constrained.  It really pains us, but we will do everything to make sure our child gets the best.  These public officials defending the school system is crazy–parents are the best judge, we are the customers and we’re not buying what they’re selling!

  • FayNissenbaum

    Big difference in housing is between renting and buying. Once families decide they must buy a house, that decision drives them out of The City.  SF is not the suburban dream location – it is a City, after all – and great one I will choose to stay in even if I cannot afford to buy a house.

    • Gogreengoddess

      We Love the City.  We decided to Live in San Francisco because we love it.  The best food,  creative friends, worlds best farmer’s markets,
      great museums, GG  park playground, people that are more stimulating to talk to.  Love it or Leave it….We are not Leaving….

  • Nancy O’Brien

    Do NOT let that remark pass, about poor people getting “benefits” that equate to what the rich have.  Even assuming that there are programs targeting the poor that are enticing, they never are available to all qualified families.  This type of statement has been common for decades, eg, being on Medical is the same as being rich, and has always been a lie.

    • Dana in Marin

      No, nancy, it’s not a lie.  The middle class get screwed the most in this country thanks to not being allied with either of the unethical political parties (we all know which one you support based on your “social justice” comment).  The rich are already doing okay.  Government programs only help the poor.  The middle class get hosed in taxes and hosed in benefit and then people like you get up here with some BS argument to tell us otherwise.  STFU, nancy.  People are sick of your BS you boomer loser.

  • Kate

    Housing will drive our family out, but not the schools. The public schools have been great.  We got into an elementary school that was not sterling at the time, but through the efforts of the whole community (teachers, principal, parents and kids), became steller and iscurrently extremely popular.  The years at that school have been some of the best years I have experienced in the 35 years I have lived in San Francisco.  The sense of participation, the friendships made and the positive results was a wonderful life lesson.

    • Megan T

      I am so grateful for Kate’s comment! I have lived in San Francisco for ten years and in the Bay Area for 30. My partner and I plan on staying in the city to raise our family, and have talked a great deal about the school situation. I am a public educator and have taught in public schools in the bay area. I appreciate Thomas Mackentire’s charge in a comment above to help the underperforming schools in SF do better. YES, this comes down to restructuring, better teachers, better admin, updated facilities, etc – all complicated and expensive things to change that will take time – but it also comes down to parents also doing their part to make schools great. Parents have incredible power to support teachers and schools doing great things for students, and as a teacher myself I am committed to being one of them. This starts with me taking a deep breath, enrolling my kids in public schools, then being a part of the school in every way I can. Yes, I work full time, and so does my partner. Should that mean we can’t also be great parents and active members of the school community? That’s a cop-out.

  • Gizmondo

    We moved away from SF when it became clear that my then 2nd grade daughter could not read, write, or add (tested in the 9th percentile). Three months after moving down the peninsula (to a public school), she was tested in the 98th percentile. Families move from SF because of the horrendous schools (if we can’t afford a private school or are not lucky enough to get into one of the few adequate public schools).

    BTW, this is not a “perception problem” but one that was quanitifiable!

    • Whereiskatima

      Why did no one manage to notice these issues in kindergarden??

  • Alberto in San Francisco

    I’m baffled by this constant hand-wringing over the number of children. I’ve lived on the edge of the Mission and Noe Valley for 18 years, and I’ve seen the number of families with children go up exponentially every few months. This neighborhood is overrun with kids. Old local businesses are priced out, and stores for expecting mothers and toddlers with expensive items open in their stead. The only people I know in my age range (30s and 40s) who own a house in the city are families with children. A lot of my single friends have moved out because it’s too expensive. Maybe it’s more a question of social class than families and children: the wealthy move in and the working class have to move out. I would be interested in comparing the ongoing proportional decrease of African Americans to the decrease of children, for example.

  • Emily

    What we hear over and over from our friends with families is that schools are making the big difference, we have a 4 year old and 1 year old and can’t afford to send both kids to private school. Our neighborhood school is “getting better” but we don’t want our kids to be the guinea pigs. We just want good neighborhood schools: small class sizes, great teachers, great curriculum. It’s hard to look over the bridge at Marin and see they have public schools with distinguished honors. The city would be SO amazing if we did have terrific schools. It would be stronger, our neighborhoods would be safer.

  • Thomas

    How much of the family flight has to do with a perception of “family life” as suburban life?  Most popular media shows families in suburban settings. Cities are depicted as places for younger singles. Perhaps we need an ad campaign, or a “Family in the City” (as opposed to “Sex in the City”) TV show?

    I’m single in my mid-30’s, and used to live in Palo Alto.  A few years ago all my friends with families bought houses in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, while all my single friends moved to the City.

  • Jackson Credle

    The issue of high rents and the high cost of purchasing a home in SF is due to two main factors.  Rent control drives rents way up.  If you need evidence, look on CL for a studio in SOMA.  Nothing under $1400.  Rent Control in combination with the anti-condo conversion rules drive home prices way up. 

  • Jackson Credle

    The issue of high rents and the high cost of purchasing a home in SF is due to two main factors.  Rent control drives rents way up.  If you need evidence, look on CL for a studio in SOMA.  Nothing under $1400.  Rent Control in combination with the anti-condo conversion rules drive home prices way up. 

  • Shannon

    I am a parent of a 3 year-old and have one on the way.  I have loved raising my son in the city so far and would love to stay.  I can tell you what makes us consider moving outside the city is NOT the “mythical 3rd bedroom.”  We are happy to trade a smaller home for the great aspects of the city.  It’s the uncertainty of the schools.  We KNOW there are great schools in the city, but we are not sure we can stomach the uncertainty of the lottery.  We know too many colleagues and friends deeply committed to staying in the city who didn’t match at any of their chosen schools and find themselves trying to figure out whether they are willing to take a chance on a school that may not serve the best interest of their child or spend all their savings on private schools.  We do not want to find ourselves in this position

  • Zzjones2002


    What you are noticing is a generational turnover in that particular area

    City as a whole the numbers are clear

  • Edward_quigley

    The high cost of housing is the main reason why young families are leaving SF. SF is fairly affordable in every other cost of living expense, even free in some cases if you know where to look. The real problem is housing costs driven up by multi-million dollar mansions 2 miles from a veritable shack in the Sunset that costs $750K. Have you seen what’s available for that amount of money in other parts of the Bay Area? It’s a very obvious business propositon that prevents families from beginning and continuing their lives here.

    Edward Quigley
    San Francisco

  • Tiffany Forner

    My husband and I live in San Francisco with our two kids (6 & 1). We have lost several friends who couldn’t afford to live here once they had kids. But our friends aren’t moving to the suburbs in the Bay Area, they are moving out of state. We found that when we were looking to buy a house that the Peninsula was just as expensive as SF and Marin was completely out of our reach. There were spots in the East Bay that were a bit more affordable, but then adding the commute to our lives would have meant a lot less time parenting our kids. We have one kid in the public school system at this point and we absolutely love his school. We also found that in our research in other parts of the Bay Area that there are good and bad public schools everywhere. The bottom line is that where ever you are in the Bay Area it is expensive and you have to work your tail off to get into those good public schools. We are city folks and love living here. Our kids are exposed to so much more culture than we ever were growing up in the burbs. As long as our kids are happy here we are staying. Also we believe that happy parents = happy kids.

  • Zzjones2002

    My wife is pregnant now and the uncertainty over the schools will likely cause us to leave and not the housing prices.

  • guest

    I think the school board really failed the families that have chosen to stay.  The virtual k-8 concept was pushed off to 2017….we worked so hard to develop the elementary schools and create a community. And now we are back to a ‘choice’ system.  Really?  SFUSD you really missed the boat.  There are so many great families who want to stay and raise money for our schools and now what….

  • Josh

    You should why Gavin Newson moved out of the city? more space? better schools? not dirty streets?
    He was not able to make any drastic changes to the school district or to the cost of living in this city. 

  • Clarke

    Housing is a problem, but SFUSD is a much bigger problem, politics
    and policy of the city is also another factor to drive families with kids
    out.  I have a 6 year old and a 3 year
    old and we are considering moving out after 25 years living in the city.  Our decision was based on the school
    consideration rather than housing though our house is just a typical SF single
    house home, not really big enough to raising two kids comparing to many other
    cities in the country, even in Northern California.  My older kid keeps loosing friends from school
    because it’s so hard to get in the school your choice, most of them just can’t
    get into their neighboring school for the past two years, not even one out of
    their seven choices, so they are being forced to get into private which adds a
    lot more burden to their cost of living. 
    Families with kids leaving SF are really fed up with the SFUSD’s
    politics, just let Mr. Letterman tells us how many officials in SFUSD have kids
    in SF public school system and how many of them are actually went through the
    lottery system just like every other families do and still gets in the school their choice and happy? …. None!

  • Do What You Like But

    Let me start by saying that I support gay equality and have for 25 years.  I also am really annoyed by a culture that increasingly sexualizes women and girls and  by a public arena that’s splashed with sexual images of women (but not men).  I’m sure this won’t be a popular comment but I recently took my 13-year-old and 15-year old to SF for a day trip.  We saw several men near the Embarcadero in *ssless chaps with full genitalia on display.  On another trip, I saw a young man walking around wearing a transparent purple scarf and not another item.   Again, full view of the stuff.  My daughter was very uncomfortable with the penises waving around that day on the Embarcadero and now she is a whole lot less interested in visiting SF, although in general she loves cities.  If you have to face public nudity on a daily basis, I think I wouldn’t raise my kids in SF either.

    • Andrew in East Bay

      Thank you for saying what these people are running from.  Someone can support gay equality and not believe in nudity or promoting the degenerate elements of the community at the same time.  SF constantly confuses tolerance and even acceptance with making sure people remain decent and respectful to each other.  No DECENT family would want to live here.

      • Gogreengoddess

        I like raising my family where people don’t have to stay in the closet.  We are decent people.  Many flamboyant people are the most decent people I’ve ever met & some are not.  When the Giants had the parade some of the most indecent disrespectful people came from the East Bay where you live.

        • Bob Parson in WC

          There is a different between staying in the closet and parading around naked like no one of ANY sexual orientation should do in a decent society.  Your kids are losers probably wondering why no one wants to hire them.  Stop defending degenerates unless you ARE one of them.

          • Sean Thomas in SB

            You kids will have STDs

          • Gogreengoddess

            Your kids will have STDs & spread them around in denial.

          • Gogreengoddess

            For the most part there are not too many days out of the year that there are naked people, less than I have fingers on my hand.  My kids have seen naked people & don’t really react  at all as it is just there.  We don’t go our of our way to search out naked people.  There are many decent people in SF who also don’t really care whether or not other people in SF are wearing clothes.  They are decent enough to say “to each his own”, & they leave it @d80c0d0c5e1757435d489e89cd13ba96:disqus  that. There are some indecent people who don’t want others to be different coming over the bridge from WC & telling SF people they are not decent. 


        • Julie Iluninor in Santa Rosa

          You have your head up your butt.  You are confusing defending degeneracy here, not diversity.  There IS a difference.  You seem NOT to get it.

          • Gogreengoddess

            I’m not confused.  Degenerates are everywhere, have your illusions, but Polly Klass was from Peteluma, the grass isn’t greener outside the city. 

        • Baylee DeNeer in Berkeley

          Sorry, but you are very wrong dear.  I am a 50 yo progressive born in SF and I agree with this person’s comment.  There is a difference between supporting tolerance and diversity and supporting degeneracy and letting people do whatever they want.  It saddens me that you are raising kids not knowing the difference as I fear what you put in front of them at such young and impressionable ages.  Do you send them to the bath houses to learn there too?

          • Gogreengoddess

            My kids have never been to a bath house.  They are well adjusted & their godparents are a gay couple who are very decent civil minded people who are really responsible & care.   For the most part we don’t see much nudity except maybe for the bay to breakers & our kids just see it as just another SF thing of more naked people.  It becomes less of anything & is just there.  

          • Question this

            Mental illness on display is not a good thing to see any day. SF needs to realize that most normal gay people have left the city too. 

          • Gogreengoddess

            Mental Illness  of strangers plays such a little part in our lives as a family, I can’t think of a time where it made me not want to live in SF.

    • Gogreengoddess

      I think you are uncomfortable w/ the nudity. I for one don’t really care & don’t shelter my kids from it.  It’s just bodies.  Everybody is naked underneath their clothes.  I don’t really make a big deal about it & neither do my kids.  I would rather live in SF were people can be open about their sexuality than live where people have to live in the closet. 

      • Sean Thomas in SB

        FYI to Green Goddess living in your own world:  MOST PEOPLE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH NUDITY.  Which is why almost every community has anti-nudity laws.  Sorry, but you live in a dynamic world and you can’t just ignore the rights and opinions of others.  That is what tolerance and acceptance are all about…not just what you personally think and agree with.  What sort of progressive are you?

        • Gogreengoddess

          The chance of running into naked people in SF is actually very rare, perhaps less than 0.5%.  For the most part it is Bay to Breakers, Solstice, Gay Pride, St. Stupid’s parade.  It’s easy to avoid most of that if you want to as with those particular days & areas super congested traffic.  It is too cold most of the time.  What actual nudity there is, is pretty easy to avoid if needed.  Today I was out with my kids & didn’t see a single nude person.  I haven’t seen any for a while.  If we do @ some particular event then they can see for themselves how unsexy it is and not give nudity another thought. 

          Anthony Weiner was not from San Francisco.  Degenerates live everywhere.  Larry Craig was not from San Francsico either. 

          What got Anthony Weiner off was that nudity is wrong & bad to him & that’s what made it so exciting for him. 

  • Erin

    We have chosen to stay in SF with our 12 and 10 yr old kids. We are lucky to have a great public elementary school in our neighborhood. Middle school has been a wake up call in terms of the real life issues some kids bring to school. Drugs, gangs, racism and bullying. Our decision to stay is partly because we are lucky enough to have a three bedroom, rent controlled apartment, and easy bike and walking commutes to our jobs. The biggest benefit is our diverse community. My kids know countless people in the neighborhood; families, business owners, local firefighters, elderly people, etc. When they walk down the street they feel that they are part of a community. My friends who have made the move out of the city tell me they don’t even know their neighbors. Community is something that SF provides to families.

    PS I agree 100% about the parking voucher for families! I have been ticketed in my driveway while transferring sick kids from the car. Tried to fight it and lost.

  • DJ

    The problem is not even at the elementary school level – at the high school level, there are not enough schools families want their children to attend. It seems like the SFUSD prefers to send kids clear across town instead of allowing them to attend their local neighborhood school to balance out the test scores. The city promotes ‘green’ practices, yet they want the families to commute across the city polluting the air with emissions and increasing the risk of accidents/crime. Those 2 hours of commuting can be used better!

  • Donjaco

     San Francisco and the wider bay area has a wonderful homeschooling community.  We had a great experience homeschooling three kids in San Francisco.  The city was/is our classroom.  It is rich!

    • Andrew in East Bay

      I’m sure your kids are nice and socially awkward.

    • Question this

      If you don’t need two incomes- if one person is home and the other is able to single handedly bring home 300,000.00 then staying home doing the job of teacher for your kids is just fine. I do question the tub thumping about staying put in SF knowing that it is kinda not working.
      Doing things yourself because the wider community has dropped the ball seems sad.  

  • Thomas Mackentire

    Is the issue that kids can’t get into one of the 5 good schools or is the issue that there are only 5 good schools in SF?  Rather than bus students around the city to create equality, why doesn’t the school board focus on improving all the schools so they are on equal footing and parents don’t have to deal with a lottery.  Additionally, wouldn’t it be easier to transport a few good teachers to struggling schools rather than transporting thousands of students to other schools?  Children should attend schools in their neighborhood, period.  How else do you form community and neighborhood?

    • Thewussies

      YES YES YES !!!
      This is why we chose to leave SF 5 years ago. We LOVE the city, we loved our neighborhood, but our kids wouldn’t be able to grow up going to school with the kids they lived by. 

      This is why parents leave SF.

      • DTMV

        Amen.  this is reason #1.  it is why we left

  • Lindaa

    I appreciate the SF voting public for supporting services for children — which continues to make SF an attractive place for families with children.  When they passed Proposition H years ago that launched Preschool for All and the Public Education Enrichment Fund in SFUSD (sports, libraries, music, arts, etc.)   This has enhanced our schools both in and outside activities, and it has made opportunities for our families with younger children to also benefit from the city’s support.  Thank you voting public for prioritizing families and we hope for your continued support in a few years when it is time for reauthorization of this initiative

  • Sadly, this program illustrates the lack of interest our local representatives have in sound data, and how out of touch they are with their constituents.  Fortunately, the public service person at a Jesuit institution knows what’s going on.

    Everyone in San Francisco, parent or not, knows that it’s the school selection process that drives parents out of our city.  I do not have children but have worked with many parents, and cannot believe the absolute cluster of a public school enrollment process this city has created.  In the past, some of them had children in different schools (a real convenience for single parents in particular).  From having to visit 10 or more schools, to having to go through rounds of selection, all based on some opaque algorithm, I am amazed that so many parents are still here.  Who on earth can have a job and somehow get their children all across the city? How do parents do it?

    The worst of this is that the public schools cannot show any sound data that indicates their selection process (which, these days, seems to change annually, thereby requiring even more time and research from parents) improves education or any other measure. We need neighborhood schools, ASAP.  Try it and see what happens.

  • Bob

    I can’t believe the snarky comment that Michael Krasny read from someone who thinks people leave SF because they are put off by diversity.  Has this guy ever taken BART outside of the city?  How could anyone claim a lack of diversity exists in the Bay Area outside of SF?

    • Andrew in East Bay

      Bob, are you living in your own bubble?  There are plenty of communities with very little diversity in the Bay.  Communities that a overwhelmingly white, black, latino, pacific islander, etc.  Tunnel vision, bob, tunnel vision!

      • utera

        Like it or not there is probably a better mix outside of sf. how about some of those latinos that voted for prop 8 for example;)  or poor black people, sf people like to talk about diversity, but in reality it is about a few colored people that won’t endanger home values and nothing more.  diversity isn’t the right word, more like the “right kind of people” for the standard yuppie white person.

  • Peninsula Voter

    We live in an area where SF parents are fleeing: The Peninsula.  Our son went to our local school for one year only.  Beautiful houses, rotten schools for the residents of Portola Valley, Atherton, Woodside & Emerald Hills.  [Not true with Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo, Palo Alto, Los Gatos/Saratoga & Cupertino, although some are thought to be competitive in academics.]

    You can’t fund a war for 10 years & then complain about schools.  Likewise, you can’t have corporations transfer names on buildings with no re-assessment and complain about schools & services.  Our local high school, Woodside High School got a mention in “Waiting for Superman”. We voted with our feet & our son did 4 years at Serra, and loved it.  Why choose a Catholic school when you’re not Catholic???  We got a referral from a friend of a friend, whose 3 Kosher sons, loved it, so no worry about religion.  One of our son’s better papers was on Muhammad, something he wanted to learn, again, not our religion. 

    Private religious schools are all about developing character and making good choices, as well as dealing with any discipline problem immediately, small or large.  They don’t fool around, yet there’s a lot of joy and fun.  The diversity at Serra was far better than our local middle school, despite busing.  As much as 11 years of private school cost us, dearly, it was still cheaper than loosing our wonderful Prop 13 tax value, with a move to a better district. 

    We vote for every local levy & we donate to the local schools.  We simply voted with our feet when it came time to send our son to school.  Now we have the pleasure of living with agony of the Cal State system!. 


  • Dana in Marin

    We left the city because we did not want our kids to grow up around the degenerates that live in the city.  There is certainly a wide range of diverse degenerates in the city.  Not sure why that is something to be proud of….

    • Andrew in East Bay

      Precisely.  Diversity is not good if all you have is a diversity of losers.  That is what lives in SF.  Arrogant yuppies who want to tell everyone how to think and live and a diverse group of degenerates.  We instead moved to an area that is diverse but doesn’t have the degenerates.

      • Gogreengoddess

        I think that the bar can be higher in San Francisco & those that can’t cut it flee to the burbs…..Maybe the East Bay is for degenerates.  I think you might have it reversed….

      • utera

        Yup funny how folks who talk about sustainability all the time have created their own unsustainable bubble.

  • Jonah Lewis

    Sorry, but the city is a terrible place to raise a kid.  Would your prefer the skinheads in GG park or the homeless 60’s left overs selling coke?  The thugs that threaten you or the bums who harass you?  The naked gay guys in flamingo suits or the yuppie jerks who treat everyone like crap.  I know you all LOVE your city of terrible values and terrible governance….many…many…many (the majority) do NOT.  And this is why we move and bring our tax dollars somewhere that is rational.

    • Gogreengoddess

      Why don’t you just stay out of SF then Jonah?

    • Gogreengoddess

      Your attitude & outlook reflect the way you experience San Francisco.  If you really want your kids to grow up & be able to function in the rest of the world then you will just learn to navigate the city & learn how to deal with others not like yourself.  You are making your kids xenophobic by trying to create some suburban ideal that in reality has its closeted menaces.  Most days most families are not seeing all the negative things you have blown out of proportion.  The city is a place where gays, lesbians, inter racial couples, creative artists, & intellectuals can raise their families without someone like you harassing them.  As a family most of the negative people you speak of have left us alone.  Maybe it’s what we put out.  They don’t bother us, so they don’t bother us.  Maybe they bother you so they bother you.

  • Bob

    I wasn’t thinking of Fremont as a bubble, I must admit. 

  • Dana in Marin

    Racists live outside of SF.  Everyone is racist and bigoted!  Do I fit in around here now since that is all you people talk about always!

  • sfmamalama

    As a SF native, I have no choice but to live in San Francisco. My family and my husband’s family still live in the city and provide an enormous support for our family with 3 children.  I would NEVER be able to live in the city I was born and raised in if it was not for them.   I would agree with Mr. Latterman that our biggest gripe is with housing.  I would love to be able to have that ‘mythical’ third bedroom for our youngest, but that is nowhere in sight for our very low (low for the city of SF) household income.
    I’m been pretty happy with the choice of public schools that my children have attended.  I’ve always chosen schools outside of our neighborhood, because our neighborhood schools are not what we are looking for in our school. As well as the opportunity to be exposed to diverse groups of people outside of our neighborhood.
    Most people that complain about not getting their neighborhood schools are those that live in areas that have the best schools.   The statistics from the last school enrollment showed that the majority of applicants put down an out of neighborhood or city-wide school as their first choice.  Until, all schools are equal and all neighborhoods have opportunities for advancement you will see the same handful of schools being sought after. 

    • Question this

      Is diversity important to the Latino community? Do they want their children are exposed to the Black or Asian communities?- Or in fact do they want to create small communities of people like themselves? White people seem pretty lost in this cultural celebration and just go with the notion that it is good to embrace diversity in San Francisco as opposed to moving to a White community like Marin. Nothing is wrong with it. I just point out that while you care about them -they don’t really care if you are there or not. 

      • sfmamalama

        As someone who is part of a multi-generational Latino Community in the city, diversity is important.  I do want my Latino children to be exposed to all walks of people as i think it’s important that they gain this experience as I did when I grew up in this city. i can’t speak for the entire Latino Community nor “white people,” but as a San Franciscan it’s one of the main reasons I stay.

  • Sean Thomas in SB

    FYI:  the MAJORITY of people in the US don’t see SF as you people see it.  We don’t see it as a “progressive” place of love and peace and blah blah. We see it as dirty, dangerous, hypocritical, violent, sexual explicit, corrupt, expensive, elitist and just absolutely terrible for raising kids of any decent values.  Those of you who choose to raise your kids there just have different values.  Values the majority if us think are insane and explains why we all leave.  Demographics and popular opinion are not on your side.  You are living in your bubble and denying reality.

    • Gogreengoddess

      My kids went to a co-operative pre-school here in SF.  It was a great little village to raise our kids for the pre-school years.  Spending most of our time there & now with our weekends booked with things like soccer games we have choosen to live  peaceful & loving lives & we have gotten back what we have given to our community that we helped create.  Our kids are Scouts & we are very involved.  Your reality is what you make of it.  We have chosen to create a community where we have each other’s backs. 

      FYI we have the California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, MOMA ,Zeum et. al…..& we have some of the best food available on the planet.  We don’t have to drive if we don’t want to.  Golden Gate park has an amazing playground as does Yerba Buena.  There is living history @ the Hyde Street Pier @ the opportunity to check out free passes @ our public library.

      My kids have decent values of caring for other fellow human beings.

  • Whereiskatima
  • Oreardonfactor

    I am having a hard time trying to keep from laughing and crying. You morons turned the city into the hell hole city it is with your Progressive votes. Now, you get to live in the swill you created, have fun! Remember, banning chicken nuggets is more important than catching illegal killers, Weeeeeee!

  • FormerSF_Mission

    SF has become a city for the wealthy over the past 10 years. It makes me sick that a family needs to make $240K to have a middle class lifestyle. We moved out when we had kids and now live in Montclair (Oakland) where the elementary schools are great the the community tight knight with many other families who are super involved in the local schools. We are local to SF and can’t believe how entitled the extraordinarily wealthy carpetbaggers seem to be. I don’t see this changing as the cost of housing surely will never become affordable for most. And yes, the public schools seem to be a gamble and lackluster at best. 

  • airbutoh

    I’m a single working parent who spent two semesters trying to get adequate interventions for safety and academic needs at DWE. I’m moving out of the city. The principal continuously forgot and wrote off the bullying issues happening on her campus. On top of that, I had to fight to get a parent volunteer in the class, since I’m unable to volunteer while I work. The teacher was tenured and would roll her eyes when requested to do something from the principal. What a mess. Bilingual education is the top priority while the infrastructure is on quicksand. That school should have been closed four years ago when proposed. 
    I’m happy to skip town and raise my son where he’ll be safe from kids trying to choke him over a piece of his cheese. Training in urban environments is crucial for this lot. I’m going to be spending the next year fixing confidence and negative social experiences he’s had.
    Just as a comparison, my son got into a Native Indian Summer Science program; I’ve never seen him so happy after a day of school related activities. That’s how I know this school was a horrible match. I made so many  calls and appointments, but it seemed the teacher was used to the rough environment  of her class and wondered why I had an issue. The principal just plain forgot to follow up on 95% of the items I contacted her for. I think the district is in denial. This is not a place for single parents. 

  • Maureen

    Yes. I was a long time (25 year resident) but after my daughter was school age and she would have been bused to the mission, I decided it was time to go.

  • leaving soon

    The main reason people move, is that the SFUSD is completely unwilling to support a neighborhood school system.  They just spent millions of taxpayer dollars to set up a system which gives kids from bad neighborhoods their choice of good neighborhood schools, instead of letting the kids from those  neighborhoods attend.  The problem is then compounded, by the fact that the city makes it very hard for people to open charter or private schools, since they want people to be stuck in the public system, so they can keep their funding.  It’s really almost criminal, how irresponsible it is to the people who are in the middle class.

    I live in a neighborhood with 4 decent schools, and we didn’t get into any of them.  This is in the newly re-designed assignment system, which is supposed to be neighborhood oriented.  The actual implementation makes it practically impossible for people in the “good” neighborhood schools to get into those schools.I was in a playgroup with 10 families when my kids were babies.  Now that they are reaching Kindergarten in the fall, only 3 of us are still in the city.  WE are all sending our kids to private schools, and 2 of 3 remaining families plan to move.  The others all moved already, because of the school situation.I don’t know of anyone who left SF because they couldn’t find a suitable and affordable place to live or park to play in.  The suggestion that that families with young kids are leaving for any reason other than lack of decent education options, is truly misguided, at best, and an outright misinformation campaign, at worst.The city needs to shut down the bad schools, and figure out how to replace them, either by expanding the decent schools’ capacity, or allowing more charter and private options.

  • Jessica

    Not only is housing affordability an issue, but how difficult it is to find landlords willing to rent to families. When responding to Craigslist postings for apartments, I’ve learned not to mention my 4-year old and child on the way–otherwise they never write back.  If I manage to get as far as getting an appointment to view a place, once the landlords see my husband and I in person–and see that I’m pregnant and that we have a child in tow– they seem to lose interest in us as potential tenants right away. I’ve talked to other families looking for apartments in SF who have faced similar discrimination–our experience is not unique.

  • Abedrock

    Mr. Latterman states that “schools are not the issue”. What BS. I don’t have any friends in SF who send their kids to public schools. Consider the fact that almost 40% of families in SF send their kids to PRIVATE school, hardly a vote of confidence in the  public school system.

    In addition to cost-of-living/quality of life issues, we left SF precisely because we were not willing to jump through all the hoops – lotteries, waiting lists – to get our 5 yr-old into an acceptable public school. No thanks. 1970’s liberalism gone bad

  • Kerthialfad

    Sanctuary Policy, which brings in large numbers of foreigners (mostly young men), who lived in crowded homes, follow different cultural patterns with which Americans are not familiar, and which can resuls in confrontations of which the  outcome is unpredictable.
    Of course, the only way to remove this alien from the neighborhood is for him to commit a serious crime such as murder, robbery, or rape.  Go figure.

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