The Morning Report
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And now for a bit of good news for San Diego Unified for a change.
Gov. Jerry Brown has found a way to spare K-12 education from the massive midyear budget cuts that San Diego Unified Superintendent Bill Kowba had warned would send the district on the road to insolvency.
K-12 school districts were at risk of losing as much $1.5 billion – the equivalent of seven instructional days – under the budget Brown and lawmakers enacted earlier this year. But sources said they will face a smaller $70 million reduction, or about $11 per student. That should avert massive reductions in the school calendar or other drastic measures for most districts.
Districts will still face a $248 million elimination of school bus funding.
The district still faces a $60 million deficit for next year. But that could’ve swelled to $138 million had the midyear cuts been as strict as feared. It also would’ve had to cut up to $30 million this year without being able to lay off any teachers.
We’re still waiting to see exactly what the impact now will be. But a note being passed around at a San Diego Unified school board meeting today said the state will cut the district’s per-student funding by $15, not $250 as previously feared.
Big grins appeared on the faces of district officials when Kowba was handed a note informing him of the news just minutes ago.
If what the Sacramento Bee is reporting is correct, district spokesman Bernie Rhinerson said its hit would be between $5 million and $6 million this year, not $26 million to $30 million.
Still, this doesn’t mean the education’s financial problems have gone away. When asked if this just kicks the can down the road, giving us a bigger problem next year, San Diego Unified Chief Financial Officer Ron Little had a simple answer.
“Absolutely,” he said.
State officials are in a press conference formally making the announcement. Check back for more from the state and the district later.
In the meantime, watch our special video series, Schools on the Brink, to catch up on the insolvency scare.
I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0526.
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