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School Leaders Forced To Reshuffle Budgets, Again



Colleges, universities and school districts in San Diego County are struggling to cut costs from their already dwindling budgets. That's because the Governor is calling for mid-year cuts to education funding. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has the details. 

Most education officials say it’s impossible to make cuts midway through the school year, because districts already have signed contracts, started programs and hired employees. Even so, they're back to reshuffling their budgets.

Constance Carroll is Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District . Her campuses stand to lose about $11 million under the Governor's proposal. That's on top of about eight million dollars in cuts the district already made.

Carroll says hundreds of classes would get cut under the Governor's plan which would shut-out several thousand students.

Carroll: The bottomline is that reduced support from the state for what we're doing will inevitably reduce capacity and that will inevitably reduce enrollment.

Community colleges are not the only campuses that might close their doors on students.

California State University officials are thinking about cutting 10-thousand spots for incoming students systemwide . That includes campuses like Cal State San Marcos and San Diego State.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Unified School District stands to lose up to $40 million under the Governor's proposal.

School board member Sheila Jackson says she's against laying off teachers if the cuts are severe. She says the district can save money by not hiring more consultants.

Jackson: Every penny that we have right now is critical. We have the staff in-house that could do the specific tasks if asked.

For his part, the Governor says education accounts for about 40 percent of the state budget, so cuts have to be made there. Spokesman Aaron McLear says there's no easy way around the state's money problems.

McLear: The worldwide and economic slowdown is having a real effect here in California, just as it is everywhere else in the world. Because of that, we have to do things we don't like to do.

California lawmakers are meeting in special session to figure out the state's next move. They’re considering other cuts social services and a number of tax hikes to increase revenue.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.


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