The ideas ran fast and furious at the third budget meeting held by San Diego Unified, this one at Madison High, which was hosted Tuesday night by school board member John Lee Evans.

Parents, teachers and other attendees flung out ideas to help schools weather the financial storm: Close schools. Protest in the streets and write letters to legislators. Relax labor rules to let parent volunteers pick up work that they can’t do now. Raise our taxes and fees. One parent even invoked the idea of renaming Madison as Qualcomm High — but only if the company ponied up the cash, of course.

But the biggest applause of the night, bar none, came for cutting back on testing or stopping it completely to save money. Some parents said the school district should stop any tests that aren’t required under No Child Left Behind; others argued that even those tests should be canceled.

“The kids will still learn!” one parent exclaimed.

The school district is holding five such meetings across the city to inform the public about the possible cuts, which could exceed $200 million in San Diego Unified, and get their take on how the school district should handle or fend off the cutbacks.

By the way, if you want to get all the gory details live about meetings like this, you might want to check out my Twitter feed.

You can also check out my blog post on the last budget meeting, held by board member Richard Barrera. (I didn’t make it to the first one. Sorry, Katherine Nakamura. But KPBS did.)


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