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I’m still ferreting out more details on how decreased enrollment will impact budgets in San Diego Unified. Schools get their money based, in part, on how many students walk through their doors each fall. San Diego Unified was planning for student numbers to increase; they went down instead.

Spokesman Bernie Rhinerson said the coffers won’t take a hit this year because a rule in the state Education Code allows the district to collect the same amount of attendance money as it did last year even though enrollment dropped. If student numbers stay the same or drop again next year, Rhinerson said, schools would take the financial hit then. He added that the enrollment cut wasn’t a major budget issue.

“Nobody around here is going, ‘Oh my gosh, we lost 800 students,’” Rhinerson said. “We’ve got bigger problems than that.”

But if the school district budgeted for more enrollment, doesn’t it feel a pinch if it gets the same amount?

Rhinerson said he would get back to me on that. When he gets back to me, I will get back to you.

EMILY ALPERT

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