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San Franciscans have mixed feelings on local schools, poll finds

Chairs line the exterior of Cesar Chavez Elementary School in the Mission District in 2021. | Camille Cohen

San Franciscans may have mixed views on the state of public education in the city, but they appear ready and willing to boost school funding, according to The San Francisco Standard Voter Poll.

Conducted by Embold Research in May 2022, the poll surveyed 1,048 registered voters, asking them their opinions on the city, its government and the many challenges facing our community. Respondent demographics are representative of San Francisco’s voter population and findings are within a margin of error of 3.8%. Read more about the methodology here.

Just 4% of respondents strongly approve of the performance of the San Francisco Unified School District.

At the same time, 43% of respondents said public schools and teachers are in most need of increased funding from the city. Policing came in first at 44%. 

The poll also found that maintaining special admissions at Lowell High School is popular. Just 13% of respondents support dropping the school’s long-standing merit-based admissions policy and selecting students by lottery as most other SFUSD schools do. 

The overturning of Lowell’s admissions practices played a major role in the recall of three Board of Education commissioners in February. SFUSD said it would engage stakeholders to introduce a new admissions policy, one that cannot legally be based on academic achievement, but did not offer a timeline as of Tuesday.