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Now back to San Diego Unified School District. I just got off of the phone with the finance director who was helpful and responsive to my questions.

She explained that in order to calculate the Calpers rate impact scenarios for the District, I needed to look at the classified salaries line item in the budget. For fiscal year 08/09 that amount is $236.7 million. So a 2 percent rate hike would result in an increased pension payment of approximately $4.7 million. Take the rate hike to 4 percent and we’re looking at $9.5 million impact. That’s not chump change.

By the way, kudos again to the district for improving their budget format. I found the information I needed very quickly. The budget can still be a little overwhelming to navigate through, but that’s not the fault of local officials. Our school budgets will always be a challenge to fully comprehend as long as we continue to have an endless list of categorical programs that the funding comes tied to from the state and federal government.

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