The Morning Report
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School board members Shelia Jackson and John Lee Evans are rubbing elbows in Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow in an attempt to win over more Republican support for the federal stimulus package that could provide $134 million to San Diego Unified schools.

Though the money may be limited for specific purposes such as special education and school construction, Jackson said it could free up more San Diego Unified funds to be used for other purposes. Special education now consumes an estimated $80 million from the general fund, Jackson and Evans both said.

“It is just so important that as a district we have to get them to pass this bill,” Jackson said, adding “The debt that is incurred today is on the backs of our schoolchildren. If anyone should get a stimulus package it should be the schools.”

Evans said they are specifically hoping to sway Republican legislators Brian Bilbray and Duncan D. Hunter to support the stimulus bill. They are also pushing for a little flexibility with the money so that if more money is provided for special education, the district can reduce what it is now spending from other funds to educate students with disabilities.

Seeing as we’re all counting pennies these days, I’m trying to find out how much the trip cost. While San Diego Unified has put the kibosh on travel in order to save money, the trip was planned before the ban was in effect.

EMILY ALPERT

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