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There’s a big unknown that has schools, parents and nearly everyone else biting their nails: whether California will make cuts in the middle of the school year. And a new report slated for next week could finally shed some light on that big unknown.

San Diego Unified estimates that the trigger cuts would dramatically deepen their financial woes, pushing them from the $60 million to $80 million range to the $110 million to $136 million range. Superintendent Bill Kowba has even said that the trigger cuts would put them on the road to insolvency.

Big cuts will only happen if California gets less than half of the $4 billion it was hoping for when it drew up an optimistic budget this summer.

Next week, the state legislative analyst is supposed to put out a report that will predict whether those cuts will be necessary. The report will play a big part in the decision on whether to make cuts: the state Department of Finance is supposed to decide whether the cuts are necessary by Dec. 15, using its own analysis and this one by the legislative analyst, the Sacramento Bee says.

But the office might not have the last word. Even its estimates are, well, estimates. The predictions are fuzzy because the months when the state tends to collect most of its revenues are yet to come.

“This is not a technical decision that’s going to be made by economists and finance people,” school board President Richard Barrera told the crowd. “It’s a political decision. Do they want to pull the trigger on education?” Either way, Barrera said, the office could probably interpret their data to justify the decision.

The report is expected to come out Wednesday.

Emily Alpert is the education reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. What should she write about next? Please contact her directly at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org.

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Emily Alpert

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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