SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District said Friday there is no extra money for next year's budget despite claims by the teachers union that $66 million is available to save jobs.
At a news conference, Superintendent Bill Kowba said the district has reduced spending by $115 million for the next school year by laying off teachers and staff, imposing furloughs and cutting programs.
"Every dollar is earmarked to cover programs, people or the realities of change in the budget," Kowba said.
The San Diego Education Association reported earlier this week that the district is "sitting on" a reserve account of $88 million, $66 million more than the 2 percent in reserves required by the state. That's enough money to pay for 857 teachers, according to the association.
According to Kowba, that money is already factored into the budget.
Trustee Scott Barnett said, "The leadership of the teachers union gave false hope that there is a magic pot of money that will restore their jobs."
The school district has notified more than 1,000 employees -- teachers and staff -- that their jobs could be eliminated at the end of the current school year.
Kowba said layoffs are required to balance the budget because 91 percent of the district's expenses are for personnel.
"We cannot avoid the fact that we are a people-oriented profession," Kowba said. "Any use of these dollars to rescind layoff notices means we have to go find dollar-for-dollar cuts in the budget."
The final number of employees who lose their jobs won't be known until May, according to the superintendent.
The association has been holding rallies at schools to protest the layoffs, which they believe are unnecessary.
The Board of Education will meet Tuesday to discuss whether an unspecified number of teacher layoff notices can be recalled, and whether to eliminate the jobs of an additional 315 staff workers, on top of the more than 800 already on the chopping block.
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego.
Veterans are being honored across San Diego County during Memorial Day weekend and dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were among those spending their Saturday placing American flags at burial sites at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
With thousands of San Diegans expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, lifeguards are on high alert and a have a few warnings for those headed to the water.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is scheduled to visit local Navy personnel in San Diego and Coronado next week, her office announced Saturday.
A 30-year-old Vista man was arrested for drunk driving and failure to yield Saturday morning after leading Carlsbad police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect crashing into a pole, according to authorities.
A man, possibly armed, and holed up inside a home in the Bay Park community for about four hours Saturday surrendered to police without incident.
Vacationing homeowners were hit by thieves in Mira Mesa, but thanks to a smartphone app, the crooks did not get away with it.
Signs warning people to stay out of the water are once again posted in Imperial Beach after a new spill from Mexico dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River - polluting the South Bay.
Two defense contractors were sentenced to prison Friday for conspiring to steal more than $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton that the military had planned to ship overseas to treat injured Marines.