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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 DEBBIE O’TOOLE: The tentative agreement (with the teachers union, which includes an eventual pay raise) will cost the district millions in a couple of years. How do they expect to pay for it?

ANSWER from PHIL STOVER:: One of the tentative agreements reached maintains the contractual status quo for last year and this year. So there is no cost to the district.

The 2010-2011 school year includes a 2.7% decrease to the salary schedule for teachers based on five furlough days. The 2011-2012 school year includes the same decreased salary schedule as 2010-2011. The 2012-2013 school year brings slightly more than a 4% increase above the current (2009-2010) school year. Another 3% increase would be realized in the 2013-2014 school year. So, the next two years result in a decrease, then there is an increase (above current levels) over the following two years.

The district plans on paying for the eventual increases (which will be no more than they would have been had all remained constant) from increases in revenue limits (state funding) and restricted income (specially earmarked state funding) in the third and fourth out years.

— PHIL STOVER

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