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Local School Districts May Benefit From Redevelopment Ruling

Aired 12/29/11 on KPBS News.

A San Diego Unified School Board member believes the ruling means taxes set aside for redevelopment will now enter the state's general fund. The legislature is mandated to spend 40 percent of the fund on K-12 schools.

California's public schools may see a boost in revenue with the elimination of redevelopment agencies.
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Above: California's public schools may see a boost in revenue with the elimination of redevelopment agencies.

— Richard Barrera sees the elimination of redevelopment agencies as a boon for public education. Not now, but in the future.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s current state budget includes about $1.8 billion of redevelopment money, which is being used to help close the state's multibillion-dollar deficit.

That is why Barrera says the court’s decision will have no immediate impact on local schools. But the San Diego Unified School Board member believes it will improve the long-term financial outlook for school districts.

The legislature is mandated to spend 40 percent of the general fund on K-12 education. As redevelopment agencies pay off their debts and disappear, the money is expected to enter the general fund.

That boost in revenue should eventually reach classrooms, which have seen class sizes increase and a dwindling in materials to help students learn.

“Taxpayer resources will be prioritized first toward public schools rather than first toward subsidizing big downtown redevelopment projects," Barrerra said.

The San Diego school board is expected to begin tackling the 2012-2013 budget when they return from winter break in January.

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