District documents show the early retirement deals for 600 non-teaching employees would cost more than $24.4 million. But those numbers include the costs to replace every retiree – something officials said the district does not plan to do.

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.

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.

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.

Every time school budget problems are in the news, readers always want to know: What about the California Lottery money that’s supposed to be sent to schools? Public records show state lottery money is often a small drop in a much larger bucket that is a school district’s annual budget.

Of the 46 teachers changing roles as part of the district’s move to shuffle teachers instead of hiring new ones, 33 supported English learners. That’s about 40 to 50 percent of all the English learner support teachers in the district.