The San Diego Unified school board deadlocked tonight on whether to slash or reduce jobs for employees who don’t teach to save nearly $917,000.

That could throw its budget and credit rating into question, since the cuts were part of the broader budget plan that the school board approved earlier this summer for this school year.

While the school board has already approved that budget on paper, it also has to make the specific cuts that are part of it, including cutting jobs, to translate its plans into reality.

Superintendent Bill Kowba said forgoing the cuts could hurt the school district credit rating, which impacts how much it costs San Diego Unified to borrow money. Board member Katherine Nakamura worried that it could also get the school district in trouble with the county superintendent, who reviews its budget each year to ensure that it stays solvent. She voted for the cuts along with John Lee Evans.

Board members Shelia Jackson and John de Beck voted against the cuts. De Beck said he didn’t believe budget projections were accurate; Jackson said she disagreed with the chosen budget cuts all along.

“I didn’t vote for the budget because I felt like we balanced it on the most vulnerable of our workers,” Jackson said.

That left the vote 2 to 2. The deciding fifth vote would have been board President Richard Barrera, but he’s in Australia with family. Nakamura asked to call a special meeting and get Barrera in on teleconference to break the tie, apparently in the hopes that he would side with her and Evans.


Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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