Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Richard Barrera, San Diego Unified School Board Member
After years of budget cuts and teacher layoffs, California voters decided to pay more for education and passed Proposition 30 last November. But last night, San Diego Unified School District's board confronted the possibility that the landmark tax measure is not going to solve all the district's budget woes.
The budgeting process for next year begins this month -- and preliminary numbers show a $84 million deficit.
California school districts have to submit their first financial plans for the next school year to the county offices of education by Saturday. For San Diego schools those plans include a central office and school staffing reduction, and selling district property to close the budget shortfall. The budget does not include projections for funding increases from Proposition 30.
But the outlook for next year is expected to improve when Gov. Jerry Brown releases his proposed budget on January 10. That proposal should give the district an idea of how much its budget gap will be narrowed by revenues from Proposition 30, according to Bernie Rhinerson, San Diego Unified's chief of staff.
“How we would specifically address that really needs to wait until we know what the budget is in January," he said. "What we do know that’s different than previous years is that we expect it will get better. For the last five or six years at this point in time, we always knew things are getting worse.”
Money brought in by Proposition 30’s temporary sales and income tax increases must be spent on education. However the law does not guarantee increased schools funding if state revenues are flat or decrease overall.