In an unprecedented public rebuke of Superintendent Carl Cohn and his staff, the San Diego Unified School District board rejected the district’s proposed $2.2 billion budget Tuesday, throwing uncertainty over the fate of the state’s second-biggest school system less than a week before the start of the new fiscal year.

Citing their displeasure with the presentation of the district’s spending plan, which was released last Friday after the school system’s own deadline, board members Katherine Nakamura, John de Beck and Mitz Lee said they would withhold their support until a new document was released to the public. The vote followed a Tuesday report showing that San Diego Unified’s budget lacked many of the elements and details included in spending plans of other major districts and failed to meet many of the recommended guidelines adopted by the Government Finance Officers Association, a professional organization for government bookkeepers.

“I’m just going to vote ‘no’ on the budget and, maybe someday, we’ll get budgets that make sense,” an angry de Beck said shortly before the vote.

The board will meet again at 3 p.m. Wednesday for a special meeting to try to hammer out a compromise on a new document. Check back later for the full story.


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