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.
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.
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.
School board trustee John Lee Evans took a shot at school board critics earlier this month. His objection follows a template of sorts the district has established: The facts aren’t necessarily false, but the message trumpets the good news while minimizing the struggles.
Critics inside and outside of the school board have predicted budget mismanagement would rear its head right about now. Instead, we have a balanced school budget that prioritizes students.