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San Diego Unified is due to adopt its annual budget Friday. But the budget is nowhere to be seen.

I called the school board offices this morning to request a copy. It’s not ready. When will it be ready? No one was sure.

The late release of a public budget was controversial last year, when trustees complained that they and the public had little time to review the budget before it was up for approval, and that the budget was incomprehensible to the average reader.

Several things are different this year: Budget talk has dominated the school board this year as state budget shortfalls threaten school funding. And the school district has reformatted the budget to make it easier to read and understand. (I got a sneak peek at a draft copy that used fake numbers.)

But a finalized budget still hasn’t been released publicly, four days before the planned decision time. Which begs the question: If an easy-to-read budget isn’t available to read, is it readable?

EMILY ALPERT

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