Thursday, February 19, 2009

NEWS RELEASE -- State Budget Passage Helps Schools Move Forward

NEWS RELEASE from the San Diego Unified School District, February 19,

State Budget Passage Helps Schools Move Forward

Sacramento Decisions Continue to Impact San Diego Students

SAN DIEGO -- Final budget reductions approved by the state legislature
on Feb. 18 and expected to be signed by the Governor on Feb. 20 are in
line with earlier projections, meaning San Diego Unified will lose $33.2
million in expected funding for the current fiscal year, according to
the latest estimates from the San Diego Unified School District.

"We're thankful that the legislature has finally settled its
differences," said Shelia Jackson, president of the Board of Education.
"This matter has gone on too long and created a great deal of anxiety
for our parents and students, teachers and staff."

The cuts approved by the Board on February 10, 2009, will be sufficient
to cover the estimated $33.2 million reduction in state funding for the
remainder of the school year. These cuts included a hiring freeze,
delaying purchasing major items from the district's general fund, and
adjustments to the workers' compensation fund and reserves.

The Board is currently holding public workshops on the budget for the
next school year, which must be submitted to the state by July 1.
Current estimates are that an additional $63.1 million will be cut by
the state.

"Our goals are to keep these cuts as far away from the classroom as
possible," said Jackson. "We are looking at innovative ways to become
more efficient and protect our children's education. Our contribution to
the local stimulus package is to keep our San Diegans working.

"We want to make this district a lean, mean, education machine."

The public is invited to the next budget workshop, which is scheduled
from 2-5 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Eugene Brucker Education
Center, 4100 Normal Street.

# # #

Note to editors and reporters: Board President Shelia Jackson will be
available for interviews at 2 p.m. today at the Education Center, Room
2231, 4100 Normal Street. A summary of the current-year budget cuts

Summary of 2008-09 Fiscal Year Cuts

A total of $33.2 million cuts were required by the state of California
in San Diego Unified's current year budget. At a Feb. 10, 2009, special
meeting, the board approved the following adjustments.

-- Workers Compensation Fund: $4.5 million. Claims have decreased
over the last two years due to changes in the law and programs
implemented by the district. Fund remains fully funded with reduction.

-- Freeze Vacant Positions: $6.2 million. The 264 vacant positions
will not be filled.

-- Redevelopment Agency Fund Shift: $6.3 million. School custodians
in redevelopment areas will be charged to funds received from the
redevelopment agency.

-- Ending Reserve Spend-Down: $4 million. A one-time use of funds
left over from prior budget years.

-- Central Office Savings: $7.7 million. Purchases of big-ticket
items such as school buses will be delayed, travel expenses reduced and
savings on hourly employees.

-- Developer Fee Cost Adjustment: $150,000. By law, districts are
allowed to use 3 percent of developer fees for administrative expenses.

-- Expenditure Shift from General Fund Unrestricted to Categorical
Resources: $4.35 million. In anticipation of state budget issues, the
district analyzed what expenses were being funded through the general
fund that could be assigned to categorical funds -- those earmarked by
the state or federal government for specific uses.

# # #

Jack Brandais
Media Relations
San Diego Unified School District
(619) 725-5570 (desk)
(619) 607-0477 (cell)

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