School districts in California have more state money and more local control over spending than ever, making it harder to blame Sacramento for their current financial troubles.
The new cuts – which will go to the school board for approval Tuesday – include all library technicians, 16 mental health clinicians, bus drivers and other non-teaching employees and support staff.
Listening to San Diego Unified explain its budget cuts, you might think the district’s massive shortfall is actually a blessing. To better understand what’s going on, we’ve put together a video that explains why this happened and demystifies the district’s spin efforts.
School districts spent a lot on fancy turf fields, then bought expensive upgrades when they fell apart. Now, those premium fields are falling apart, too.
Thanks in part to a state-mandated “last in, first out” policy, looming layoffs at the San Diego Unified School District would fall disproportionately on schools in the poorest neighborhoods.
Low-income schools are set to bear the brunt of San Diego Unified’s multimillion-dollar budget cuts. For 16 of the 20 schools in San Diego Unified facing the most teacher layoff notices, at least 75 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.
That layoffs hit the poorest schools hardest is generally accepted as true – both by people who want to preserve the current system of teacher protections and those who want to dismantle it.
School board trustees recently voted to eliminate the district’s internal audit office. It’s not clear how that move would comply with a state law that prevents schools from freely outsourcing employee jobs – something the district said it plans to do. The district’s legal counsel said she’s confident the plan passes legal muster.
How many positions are being lost as part of San Diego Unified’s budget cuts? Depending on who you ask, it’s either 400 to 500, or “more than 800,” or 850, or 977 or more than 1,500. The district’s own documents and top officials have only added to the confusion.
What does a $6 million cut to “Property” or a $1.5 million cut to “Civic Center” entail? On those and a number of other issues, parents, community members and even employees are struggling to understand what the cuts mean.