SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Unified School District will submit a report stating it will meet its financial obligations, despite projected budget shortfalls and mid-year reductions, although the Board of Education learned today the cuts would be less than previously expected.
"This is a report to the board and to the community as a whole about our financial health for the first four months of the year from July 1 to Oct. 31 and also a projection of the next two years," said Superintendent Bill Kowba. "It is the official reporting of our commitment to maintain the operational ethicacy and the financial solvency of the district."
The board voted 4-1 to approve the first of two interim financial reports to the San Diego County Office of Education in which they declared a "positive" certification, meaning the district could balance a preliminary budget calculated based on a worst-case scenario that projected mid-year cuts of $30 million and a deficit of about $95 million next year.
The report also included a list of possible solutions which included layoffs for more than 700 employees next year, although the board spared some vice principals and non-classroom teachers, and about 450 more staff reductions in 2013-14, to balance the budget and stave off insolvency.
"We need to send a very clear message that we are not going to allow outside control of this district," said board Vice President John Lee Evans. "We are going to remain solvent."
The district will get some budget relief as Gov. Jerry Brown announced that statewide funding to kindergarten through 12th grade education would be reduced about $79 million mid-year instead of $1.5 billion, meaning SDUSD would most likely face a budget deficit of about $73 million next year and would only have to cut about $7 million to $8 million mid-year, according to Chief Financial Officer Ron Little
The actual reductions in cuts would not be reflected until the second interim report, due in March, is calculated following the state budget update next month, according to district staff.
"It's very important that we all understand this is the first interim budget, this is not the final budget," said board member Kevin Beiser.
The board took steps toward mitigating mid-year reductions by eliminating 15 vacant positions for an estimated savings of about $1 million per year, according to financial staff.
The board also voted to approve the recommendations of the school realignment/closure committee, which included moving the Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School campus to a larger site, consolidating San Diego High Communications with San Diego High Science and Technology, and consolidating Crawford High's four schools to a comprehensive program with one principal and two vice principals.
The grade levels at the schools within the Lincoln cluster would be changed from kindergarten through sixth grade to kindergarten through fifth grade, and the Mission Bay cluster would have the board's support in establishing a plan to ensure continued viability of Mission Bay High School.
The U.S. Geological Survey Monday rescinded a computer-generated report that a shallow, 3.1 magnitude earthquake had struck the Ocotillo Wells area of San Diego County.
Two San Diego police officers shot and wounded in a standoff in the College Area over the weekend are recovering Monday.
High pressure will bring warmer temperatures and shallower marine layer through Tuesday. Overnight and morning low clouds and fog are possible.
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs have heralded innovations like smartphones and car-sharing. Now, Tim Draper, one of the valley's most successful venture capitalists, wants to similarly shake up the way California is governed by dividing it into three states.
Police searched for a suspected car thief who fled into a canyon in Linda Vista on Sunday afternoon.
A motorcyclist smashed his bike into the rear of a sheriff's patrol car, as the deputy made a left turn, and was killed in Encinitas Sunday.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.