San Diego Unified is now bracing for a deficit ranging from $89 million to $99 million for next school year, according to a “very preliminary analysis” of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s budget by school district staff.

Believe it or not, that’s good news. The school district had earlier feared that cuts could go deeper than $200 million for next year, a gap that San Diego Unified had no idea — or not enough ideas — how to fill. The lower number means the school board will have some more wiggle room as it tries to decide what to cut or spare.

The number was shared with parents and staff Friday in the interim superintendent’s weekly message.

— EMILY ALPERT

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