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School Trustees Sift Through Budget Ideas

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Aired 12/16/09

The San Diego Unified school board begins to sift through hundreds of community ideas today that could help them plug the district's multimillion dollar budget hole for next year.

— The San Diego Unified school board begins to sift through hundreds of community ideas today that could help them plug the district's multimillion dollar budget hole for next year.

The budget ideas were compiled during five separate town hall meetings. Roughly 1,000 people collectively took part .

San Diego Unified School District is anticipating a state funding shortfall of up to $200 million.

School board trustees say instead of cutting programs from a district list, they're reaching out to the public.

San Diego's teachers union has criticized the board in the past for its lack of transparency in the budget process. Union president Camille Zombro said this is a welcome change.

"Basically, San Diego Unified is finally starting to learn how to listen to a lot of people and pull that information in a meaningful way to help them make good decisions," Zombro said.

Some community ideas include raising teacher co-pays at the doctor's office, salary cuts for administrators and closing schools with small numbers of students. The board is hoping to develop an action-plan next month.

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