Schools Warn of Major Financial Tsunami

Friday, Dec 12, 2008  |  Updated 5:30 PM PDT
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Schools Warned of Severe Cuts

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Schools Warned of Severe Cuts

The Poway Unified School District gets ominous warning via email. If you thought this year's cuts were bad, just wait.
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The superintendent of the Poway Unified School District sent an ominous e-mail to his staff this week. It warned the district is facing at least $11 million dollars in cuts, on top of the approximately $10 million dollars in cuts the district has already made this year.

There's a similar warning being put out by the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District. In the weekly e-mail update to staff, he warned of cuts that could amount to a $20 to $40 million dollar mid-year budget reduction.

"There's a major tsunami coming in our direction," said Don Phillips, superintendent of the Poway Unified School District.

It's a preemptive strike by the heads of two of San Diego's largest school districts. As Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger projected a budget deficit of $41.8 million dollars, local school districts are braced for the worst.

In Poway, it could mean some teachers could lose their jobs. Last year, 120 teachers received layoff notices in that district. They were all able to keep their jobs. They might not be so lucky this time around.

Phillips said he will stick to priorities, which include a focus on the classroom and quality education. But he sees reality looming.

"We unfortunately are going to have to cut much deeper into our teaching staff and into our support staff, which ultimately means our youngsters, our students lose at the end of the day," Phillips said.

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