San Diego Schools Mull Best Use Of Funding Influx
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Aired 1/21/14 on KPBS News.
Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal for the coming year could mean new programs and services in San Diego city schools.
For the first time in years, budget planning for San Diego Unified School District could include adding programs and services instead of cutting them.
When Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his proposal for next year’s budget, it included using unexpected revenues to pay back the state’s $6.1 billion debt to public schools. It would also speed up the distribution money to schools under a new system that directs more funding to districts with more high-needs students.
School board members will hear ideas for how to spend the additional money at a special meeting Tuesday. They include reducing average class size for most kindergarten to third-grade classrooms from 27 students to 25.5, adding graduation coaches at district high schools and purchasing new middle and high school math textbooks.
But the funding boost won’t solve all of the district’s financial problems. Current projections still call for selling $10 million worth of district-owned properties and cutting $7 million from central office operations.
The state's new system for funding schools requires school districts to use parent and other stakeholder input before developing final budget plans. San Diego Unified plans to hold five community forums in February and March to gather than input. School districts have until the end of June to finalize their budgets for the coming school year.