San Diego Unified is threatened with a roughly $40 million budget cut this school year under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to winnow $2.2 billion from California schools in the middle of the year, district staffers told the school board today. The cuts could include reductions in childcare programs, principal training, class size reduction funding, and the elimination of cost-of-living increases.

Potential solutions floated by San Diego Unified to plug the budget gap include changing bell schedules, cutting more employees in the central office, paying less from their general fund into building maintenance, and closing under-enrolled schools. Many potential fixes would require negotiating with the teachers union, such as reducing pay for substitute teachers, cutting preparation time for teachers, making classes larger, offering a bonus to goad employees to retire earlier, and rolling back salaries across the school district.

EMILY ALPERT

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