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These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Dec. 10-Dec. 16.

1. Layoffs Will Follow Raises at Cash-Strapped San Diego Unified
San Diego Unified is again staring down the barrel of insolvency. City school officials must cut $116.6 million in spending from next year’s $1.3 billion budget to avoid trouble, and are set to consider everything from a reorganization of the district office to changes in health benefits to an unspecified number of “strategic layoffs” of teachers and staff. (Ashly McGlone)

2. San Diego Cities Will Save $1 Billion by Changing Regulations to Avoid Chollas Creek Cleanup
Thousands of pounds of zinc and copper to continue flowing into Chollas Creek, but soon those materials will be considered officially less harmful than they were a decade ago. (Ry Rivard)

3. The Council’s Letter to the Chargers Is News — But Not for the Reasons You Think
The idea of giving or leasing the Qualcomm Stadium land to the Chargers is at least 13 years old. But City Council members’ letter resurfacing the idea was the first PR trick that put the team on its heels. (Scott Lewis)

4. City Ignores Its Own Development Rules, Five Architects Overwhelmingly Benefit
Several architects who shouldn’t have qualified for a program that fast-tracks development projects benefited anyway, including some with ties to Mayor Kevin Faulconer. (Andrew Keatts)

5. In Search of Safe Harbor, Parents Look Beyond Neighborhood Schools
While San Diego Unified – along with many other school districts – has moved toward softer, less punitive discipline policies in recent years, some parents in southeastern San Diego are choosing The O’Farrell Charter School precisely for its stringent discipline policies. (Mario Koran)

6. What Happened to San Diego Schools’ Budget, in One Chart
Notably, general fund revenues jumped from less than $1.03 billion in 2012-13 to $1.2 billion in 2014-15 and continued to climb, nearing $1.3 billion this year. That’s an increase of more than $267 million in four years, or 26 percent. (Ashly McGlone)

7. These Three Cities Stand in the Way of More Homeless Funding for San Diego
The federal government is considering changing the formula by which it doles out funds to combat homelessness. The current setup handicaps San Diego. But at least three cities that benefit from the current arrangement – Chicago, New York and Philadelphia – don’t want it to change, and are vigorously opposing the plans. (Joe Cantlupe)

8. Lincoln High and the Challenge of School Turnarounds
There may be no harder task for a school district than turning around a struggling school. What options does a parent have if the district isn’t up to the task? (Mario Koran)

9. The Sheriff’s Department Quietly Launched a Drone Program With No Public Input
In September, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department began a one-year pilot program that includes four camera-equipped drones. Despite urging from the ACLU that the Sheriff’s Department first seek input from the public and the County Board of Supervisors, it did neither. (Jared Whitlock)

10. SD Schools Plan for Cuts, CFO Warns District Is on ‘Thin Ice’
On the table are “strategic” layoffs, changes to health benefits, reducing the work year for some employees and eliminating vacant positions, among other things. (Ashly McGlone)

Tristan Loper

Tristan is Chief Strategy Officer at the News Revenue Hub. You can follow the Hub on Facebook...

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