Budget guru Phil Stover, interim chief special projects officer in San Diego Unified is answering your questions about school budget cuts today on our blog. Confused by the cuts or the budget crisis? Have bigger questions about how the budget works? Ask Stover your questions by e-mail at pstover@sandi.net or post them here. We’ll be putting up your questions and answers throughout the day. Where necessary, I’ve included some added explanation of my own in italics to help smooth out any eduspeak. Enjoy! — EMILY ALPERT

QUESTION from parent BARBARA LAMB: My daughter attends a magnet school. I would be happy to pay for her bus. I have heard that the proposal is to charge families that don’t qualify for reduced lunch $328 per school year for the bus. I have friends who live in Rancho Bernardo and Poway who pay much more: $450-$700. Why not charge as much as other districts?

ANSWER from PHIL STOVER:Thanks for the question. SDUSD transportation management did an analysis of what six surrounding counties charge non-free and reduced lunch children for transportation. The average amount was $328. For estimating purposes they used that amount. They believed that 3,668 students would pay. Therefore the estimated potential revenue from this program is approximately $1.2 million. Remember that SDUSD does not transport students from home to school; therefore our transportation numbers are much smaller than other districts of our size.


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