Budget cuts are where education tends to get personal. It’s easy to miss school board meetings or informational sessions. But even parents who otherwise don’t pay attention to education news get involved when their child’s favorite teacher or principal gets sent away.

Principals and parents are bracing for cuts as San Diego Unified School District staff prepare a budget for trustees that could include layoffs to close a $124 million shortfall. The superintendent wrote that she would seek creative solutions to make sure class sizes remain unchanged.

For 18 years, state law in California restricted bilingual education and taught students like me that knowing two languages was a disadvantage. In November, those restrictions were lifted. Now, as school districts across the state grapple with whether to expand bilingual education, they have the chance to show students they don’t have to give up their identity and native language to find success.

Under a project labor agreement the San Diego Unified School District signed in 2009, local workers would build all bond-funded projects over $1 million. But the targets set in the deal still aren’t being met, and new numbers show some targets are slipping slightly further away as more large projects are built.