Changing the Way School Budget Decisions are Made

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    Classroom.

    How much money will your child's school get for the next school year and how will it be spent? There is good news and bad news, according to the San Diego Unified School District, which is changing the way budget decisions are made.

    The District says it’s stepping back and giving schools more flexibility in how money is spent.

    That's the good news, according to the district.

    Changing the Way School Budget Decisions are Made

    [DGO] Changing the Way School Budget Decisions are Made
    Theres good and bad news from the San Diego Unified School District.

    The bad news is that there's not a lot of money to spend and jobs likely will be cut.

    Depending upon the size and type of school, the central office will provide a certain number of teachers and principals as well as the basics of running a school, like lights and heat. The central office will also provide some money for high school athletics, as well as custodial positions and supplies, some police service and a shared pool of nurses.

    But a spokesperson for the district says there will be another pool of money that each school can decide how to spend.

    “The idea behind community based reform is to get as many decisions as possible into the hands of the school community,” said San Diego Unified school District spokesperson Jack Brandais.

    The school can consider how much campus staffing it wants, materials and supplies, whether it wants more teachers to keep class size low, more vice principals or librarians and maybe even a gifted program. 

    “They can make the choice based on what their community and what type of school they have,” said Brandais.

    However, despite the governor's commitment not to cut K-12 education, those choices will have to be made with fewer dollars.

    “The bad news is we're now in year four of tremendous budget cuts,” said Brandais. “Even with what the governor said today, it's going to be tough.”

    The site council at each school -- made up of parents, teachers and students -- will have input with the final say resting with the principal.

    Some parents wonder if the district is shirking its responsibility by letting schools make the tough budgetary decisions. But the District says the intent is to give schools flexibility.