Friday, July 8, 2011

NEWS RELEASE -- Superintendent Announces Restoration of Funding to Maintain K-3 Class Sizes

NEWS RELEASE from the San Diego Unified School District, July 8, 2011


San Diego ‹ Superintendent Bill Kowba announced today that he will
immediately initiate the restoration of funding in the district¹s 2011-12
budget necessary to restore the current student/teacher class size ratios
for grades Kindergarten to 3rd grade for the next school year beginning in
September. As a result of the level funding for K-12 education that was
included in the state budget signed by the Governor last week, additional
funds will be available to maintain K-3 class size ratios at current
levels for one more year.

The Superintendent¹s plan will restore K-3 class size ratios to 24:1 at
all schools and maintain a 20:1 ratio at 29 high-poverty schools that
currently have that lower ratio. According to Kowba, the district¹s
initial analysis of the additional revenues that will be available from
the adopted state budget will be adequate to support K-3 class size
restoration which will retain approximately 300 teachers at an approximate
cost of $22 million after accounting for state deferrals.

³The good news from the state budget is that we will have some additional
funding for this year to bring back our teachers for our early grades
where small class sizes are so important to student academic success,²
said Kowba. ³But we must all realize that this funding may be temporary
and we may even face mid-year cuts should state tax receipts fail to meet
expectations. And the fact remains that our district still faces a huge
deficit next year which means we may only be able to save these smaller
class sizes and teaching jobs for this year only.²

Kowba indicated that the District Chief Financial Officer has completed a
preliminary analysis of the state budget from which he concluded that the
district can budget an additional $36 million of revenues for 2011-12, but
not all of those funds will be paid to the district in the budget year
because of state payment deferrals. The state will defer nearly 40 percent
of revenue limit payments to school districts until the next budget year
and 50 percent of class size reduction (CSR) funding which will mean that
San Diego Unified will realize only approximately $27 million in
additional cash over the budget adopted by the Board of Education on June

³The district budget for 2011-12 is very tight and there are still many
uncertainties with state funding,² said Kowba. ³It is essential that we
budget to maintain a positive cash flow throughout the next fiscal year
and further restorations beyond this K-3 restoration could place the
district in a negative cash position which we must avoid to pay our
employees and bills on a monthly basis.²

Kowba indicated that district finance staff will continue to evaluate the
impacts of the state budget and the district¹s financial obligations and
provide a more detailed update to the Board of Education on July 12 and
July 19. The Board had directed the Superintendent to begin to implement
restorations based on additional funding as soon as possible and to make
K-3 class size restoration the top priority.

³While this restoration is a positive step our schools will still be
dramatically impacted by more than $90 million in program reductions in
the coming school year.² Kowba concluded

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CONTACT: Bernie Rhinerson, Chief of Staff, (619) 300-7015

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