A San Diego Unified school board meeting / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten’s rosy State of the District speech last week didn’t include many details about the state of the district’s budget.

But Ashly McGlone has some in a new story, and they’re not great.

“District leaders this summer touted the passage of a “balanced” $1.4 billion budget and doled out more employee raises they said they could afford thanks to hard choices and layoffs in recent years.” But, as it turned out, giving raises to the district’s more than 10,000 employees “created a big new structural deficit – adding $45 million in annual operating costs for next year,” McGlone reports.

A spokeswoman for the district said it would be wrong to attribute the projected deficit solely to the raises. 

But a County Office of Education official warned the district earlier this year that the new deal could put a big strain on the budget. 

“We encourage the district to identify and implement ongoing expenditure reductions to maintain minimum reserves and fiscal stability in future years,” the official wrote.

Meet San Diego’s Immigrant Affairs Manager

The federal government creates and enforces immigration law, but San Diego’s new immigrant affairs manager says “cities across the country and around the world are realizing that migration is really an issue that cities will need to address.”

Maya Srikrishnan spoke with Rita Fernandez, the first person to hold the role in the city, for this week’s Border Report

Fernandez said there are myriad ways the city can help immigrants before and after they go through the naturalization process, including helping them set up bank accounts and connecting them with various educational and financial resources that are available to them.

Council Is Falling Far Short of Homeless Housing Goal

San Diego has made very little progress on its goal to build 140 affordable housing units for homeless and disabled residents in each City Council district, inewsource revealed Monday.

The glacial progress does not bode well for the new, more aggressive goals called for in the city’s new plan to combat homelessness.

So far new units have only been built in three of the city’s nine Council districts.

In the case of Councilwoman Barbara Bry’s District 1 and Councilman Mark Kersey’s District 5, there are not even upcoming units in the pipeline or any that have been permitted.

Bry, who is running for mayor, told inewsource that developers could only build supportive units in her district if the land is free.

Water Authority Wants Voters to Weigh in on Agencies’ Divorce Request

Two small water agencies are trying to divorce themselves from the San Diego County Water Authority and join a Riverside County water agency instead.

The San Diego County Water Authority isn’t willing to let them go so easily. Its board of directors last week approved a resolution to ask the obscure San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission “to require approval by voters across the Water Authority’s service area of any proposed ‘detachment’ by the Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Fallbrook Public Utility District from the Water Authority,” the Water Authority wrote in a press release.

As we reported in September, Rainbow and Fallbrook officials believe they can save their ratepayers millions of dollars a year by making the switch. But the Water Authority is looking out for its own bottom line, as Ry Rivard wrote: “If Rainbow and Fallbrook leave, the other 22 agencies and their hundreds of thousands of customers will have to pay more, perhaps several bucks a year on average. The largest of those remaining agencies would be the San Diego city water department. If the divorce is too easy, there’s also worry that other agencies may start looking for the door.”

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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