San Diego Unified estimates it will get roughly $43 million in stabilization money from the federal stimulus bill. The money is expected to stretch over two years. Superintendent Terry Grier said the sum was twice what he was expecting, and praised school board members for visiting and lobbying federal and state lawmakers to get as much funds as possible.
“It doesn’t come close to solving the district’s financial problems,” Grier said. “But it helps.” He added, “I think that was well worth the price of the trip to DC.”
That money is meant to firm up state and school district budgets and prevent layoffs. It is one of several pools of stimulus money that is headed to schools, each of which is earmarked for different purposes. San Diego Unified has already estimated that it expects to get $37 million specifically for disadvantaged students, $28.7 million for special education, and $1 million for technology, in addition to the stabilization money.
The stabilization money is one of the most flexible funds — and therefore the most coveted — as school districts struggle with mounting cuts due to the state budget crisis. San Diego Unified has estimated that it faces a deficit of nearly $147 million.