This was the first week of class for many schoolkids across California. The California Report’s Scott Shafer stopped by two public schools in San Francisco to hear how parents and principals are feeling about the coming year.
MATTHEW REEDY, PRINCIPAL: I'm the principal here at Grattan Elementary. It's my third year. And this year it's very exciting. For the first time in years our budget is not smaller than it was last year. And I think that's a trend. So we're looking forward at good times coming up for us in California education.
MELISSA WATERS: It's kind of a rough transition for us. They didn't do pre-school so they're struggling a little bit being away from home all day. There's a little bit of sadness, and it's exciting at the same time. They're growing up, and they grow up so fast.
TED RIDGEWAY: Sophia and Dylan are in first grade. It's an interesting mix. They're excited. They get to see their old friends and meet new friends. But there's also a lot of transitional separation that's difficult to overcome.
Hillcrest Community School
RICHARD ZAPPIAN, PRINCIPAL: I'm Richard Zappian, the principal here at Hillcrest. It's an extremely diverse school. There's a few subgroups here that are not represented. But if you look around you've got a multitude of six, seven different languages spoken in any classroom. Our teachers work six hours a day and they have five different core subjects to teach every day.
RINA PINATE: (I’m with) Ruby Guzman. She's a first-grader. I like the fact that the parents are really united and they volunteer a lot and they help a lot of the students here and the teachers. Because there's been a lot of cuts. There's less teachers. They have to work harder. And for this year I hope there's more programs so the parents can help their kids develop more.
VICKY WONG: My son is attending second grade. I notice sometimes that because of the budget problems, there's some staff cuts because of the problem. So I hope the government is going to support the schools more so they (give) the school system more money so we can have the necessary programs.
For more on what to expect this upcoming year, Scott Shafer also spoke with education reporter Ana Tintocalis.