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S.D. School Trustees Close to Finalizing Budget

Small schools off the list for now

— San Diego Unified school trustees inch closer today to balancing next school year's district budget. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis says closing small schools is off the list for now:

So far six under-enrolled schools have been saved from the budget ax -- but their future remains uncertain. That's because district officials say the budget forecast for the 2010-11 school year doesn't look good.

The board is currently thinking about adopting a policy that would guide them in making the tough decision on case-by-case basis.

But trustee Richard Barrera says the district should instead develop strategies to get more kids to go those schools.

"The emphasis of our discussion probably ought to be how do we increase enrollment," Barrera said. "That seems like a productive conversation that can lead to more significant cost savings in the form of busing."

That's because a large number of district students attend schools outside their neighborhoods. Superintendent Terry Grier says he realizes closing schools is difficult, but says the board will face that decision in the near future.

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