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Since June, an outside group has been scouring the San Diego Unified budget to evaluate whether it could save more money and run more efficiently, and its findings are nearly ready. A report from the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, a Bakersfield-based advisory group, is expected within the next few weeks, said school board president Katherine Nakamura. The group was contracted nearly five months ago at a $55,000 cost.

The outside analysis could prove crucial as the district braces for another round of budget cuts that equal or exceed the cuts first threatened last year, before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced his planned cuts to California schools.

EMILY ALPERT

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