San Francisco, CA - Mayor London N. Breed today joined Treasurer José Cisneros and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne to congratulate the senior Class of 2023. SFUSD’s Class of 2023 includes approximately 3,900 graduates, who will be transitioning on to a diverse array of post-secondary next steps, including pursuing a college degree, or transitioning directly into a career.
In addition to congratulating the students for achieving this milestone, Mayor Breed reaffirmed her commitment to fully funding SFUSD high school graduation ceremonies. The Mayor has prioritized City funding of SFUSD’s graduation ceremonies since 2021, focusing on creating and financially supporting equitable graduation experiences for every SFUSD high school senior.
“Our students work hard all year long and they deserve to celebrate their accomplishments at graduation as they go off to college or into the professional world,” said Mayor Breed. “Graduation ceremonies are a special event that remind students how proud we are of their achievements. It’s important that we celebrate how far they have come. I want to congratulate the class of 2023 on a successful year!”
Prior to 2020, SFUSD high school graduations provided a varied experience for graduating seniors, and their families and caregivers, and less than 30% of high schools utilized their own school site. Unaffordable venue costs upwards of $20,000, limited availability, and challenges around gathering spaces brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic were the catalyst for the creation of the City’s streamlined, equitable graduation experience, which has been in place each year since then.
“Graduation is a special time for students to celebrate the years of hard work that it takes to grow and advance to the next stage in life. We are thrilled to celebrate the class of 2023 and create a memorable experience for each and every student who graduates,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne.
“It's such an honor to celebrate the Class of 2023. We greatly appreciate the support from Mayor Breed and the City of San Francisco to provide our students and families with high quality graduation ceremonies to commemorate the huge milestone of earning a high school diploma,” said Kevine Boggess, SF Board of Education President. “As a school district, our job is to create a rigorous, supportive and healthy community where students realize their potential and work towards their dreams. We are so excited for our Seniors as they graduate and continue to overcome the obstacles in their path.”
The “Graduations for All” model allows for consistent practices for 21 graduation ceremonies, including live streaming and recordings posted on SFUSD website; ASL interpretation; closed captioning services; conferring of the diplomas from district-level leadership; venue quality; enough seating for a large number of guests to attend; professional event production such as audio and jumbo screens; centrally funded student caps and gowns, diplomas, and diploma covers; and a professional photographer and photos for each graduate that will be available for families to purchase.
Again this year, all SFUSD highschool graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2023’s 3,900 graduates will take place at two central locations: Kezar Stadium and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater between May 30 - June 1.
All graduation ceremonies are ticketed events. In addition, all graduation ceremonies will be live-streamed and recorded. Please check the SFUSD website for direct links to view the live stream.
Kindergarten to College (K2C)
Additionally, the Class of 2023 is also the first graduating class that is part of the Kindergarten to College (K2C), marking a new milestone in City history.
Founded in 2011 by then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros, K2C automatically opens a savings account seeded with $50 in public funds for every child entering kindergarten in SF’s public schools. Mayor Breed has prioritized continued support for this program, which puts students on a path to college from their first day of school. The program is based on research that children from low- to moderate-income households with savings set aside for college are up to three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate from college than those without an account. K2C maintains its program accounts with Citibank.
“We started K2C so that every student in our public schools would know that they have a future worth saving for,” said San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros. “K2C is beginning to deliver on the promise that every child growing up in San Francisco has not only a dream for college, but a pathway.”
There are more than 52,000 K2C participants, who as of today have more than $15 Million saved for post-secondary education. Approximately 600 graduating seniors were in the inaugural class for K2C as Kindergarteners. Students who’ve had their accounts since kindergarten and have saved in their K2C accounts have an average balance of $1,422 – a 28 times increase from the City’s initial deposit. All SFUSD graduates can visit the K2C website to claim their money and begin to use the funds for tuition and other expenses.
Families in SFUSD are participating in K2C at more than 11 times the national college savings rate. More striking than the sheer percentage of families participating is that half of the participating families qualify for free or reduced price lunch. In national surveys about college savings, families with accounts had about 25 times the median financial assets of those without.
San Francisco’s K2C program has been replicated across the country, with 128 active College Savings Account programs reaching more than 5 million children in 38 states, including municipal programs in Oakland, Los Angeles and New York City, and statewide programs in California, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Maine.
For more information about the K2C program, visit: https://sfgov.org/ofe/about-k2c