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The budget crisis is hitting home in San Diego Unified, and it isn’t pretty.

Superintendent Terry Grier and the school board are mandating that schools stop hiring for all positions that are not “directly related to classroom activities” unless they get an approved exception, and stop spending money through purchase orders and district credit cards unless preapproved by the chief financial officer, Grier or “his designee.”

They are also clamping down on overtime and the use of temporary or hourly employees in the central San Diego Unified offices, asking employees to minimize travel for training or conferences and putting the kibosh on travel that has not already been approved and paid for. New contracts can only be approved if the funding source is unthreatened (good luck finding one of those) or if they are critical to operations.

An e-mail from Grier to staffers said that San Diego Unified is planning to slash $33.2 million from this school year budget and another $63.1 million next year. The total San Diego Unified budget is roughly $2.1 billion with a general fund of about $1.27 billion. I’ll be working the phones to find out more about how this impacts individual schools and programs.

EMILY ALPERT

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