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Low Enrollment Gives S.D. County Schools $6 Billion Bonus


Aired 4/19/09

San Diego County schools are in line to get part of an estimated $6 billion windfall from the state. Local educators welcome the bonus, but say they want more flexibility in how they can spend the money. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

State officials anticipate the $6 billion bonus because student enrollment in California is dropping while state revenue is going up. Lawmakers are currently wrestling over how to spend the money on schools. That worries some educators in the San Diego Unified School District. The district’s government relations director Arun Ramanathan says educators don’t have the freedom to spend the money where its most needed.

Ramanathan: Rather than providing the money to school districts in an unrestricted way, so that we can access our local priorities, we’re being told increasingly this is the way you need to spend the money.

Some education advocates want the bonus to go toward helping districts with sharp declines in student enrollment. Others want the money to go to teachers’ salaries and other school reform plans. Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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