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NEWS RELEASE: Board Considers Budget With Added Funds for School Safety

NEWS RELEASE: Board Considers Budget With Added Funds for School Safety
Posted on 06/26/2018

San Diego Unified School District

Board Considers Budget With Added Funds for School Safety
District Spending to decline 1 Percent, County Upgrades District Financial Standing to “Positive”

The San Diego Unified School District final 2018-19 budget will go before the Board of Education tonight with added funds for school safety, information technology services, and programs for homeless students.

The proposed final budget was developed with recent input from the public, said Board President Kevin Beiser. The budget includes funds for a senior position in the School Police Department, and it adds five positions to the district's IT staff, in part, to help improve response time to technology service calls.

The San Diego Unified budget also includes an additional $250,000 for education programs for homeless students. The funds were secured with assistance from Senate President Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, in response to the loss of the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program grant due to a clerical error.

Overall, district spending is set to decline by 1 percent next year as a result of efficiencies established in the Central Office. Earlier this year, the County Office of Education upgraded the district's financial status from “qualified” to “positive.” This marks the first time in eight years the district has received a positive rating from the County Office of Education.

“The fact that our budget has now been certified as positive by the County for the first time in eight years should give all students and their families confidence we are on the right track,” said President Beiser. “The programs our families value most -- arts and music, for example -- will remain strong and funded for the future.”

San Diego Unified is the largest school district in the county and second-largest in California, with more than 100,000 students and approximately 180 schools. The district's annual operating budget is more than $1 billion.

"Thanks to the dramatic action we took together last year to significantly reduce our budget, our schools are on a firm financial footing for the future, and that has real benefits for our students -- and for the taxpayers of San Diego,” said President Beiser. “Our sound fiscal strategy resulted in the Wall Street ratings firms giving our district strong marks, meaning we were able to save more than $100 million the last time we issued bonds.”

President Beiser also thanked the community for its support and guidance. For the first time, the school district surveyed families earlier this year to determine what they value most in education. The survey resulted in more than 11,000 responses.

Each year the district must pass a balanced budget by June 30. Some 80 percent of funding for San Diego Unified comes from the State of California. California continues to rank 46th in the nation in education spending.

The Board of Education will consider the budget at its regular meeting at 5 p.m. at San Diego Unified headquarters, 4100 Normal St.

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Media Contact: Communications Director Maureen Magee: 619-381-7930