‘It's Going to Get Worse'

City schools may have to cut as much as $200 million to balance its budget.

"It's going to be worse" -- that's what school board member Richard Barrera said Tuesday about budget cuts for the next school year. 

The San Diego Unified School District  has to cut between $143 million and $203 million to balance the 2010-11 budget. That's  without the help of one-time stimulus money and early teacher retirements that the district used last year. 

"We have to stay focused, and we have to not panic right now," Barrera said. "We have to recognize that if we come together and have discussions as a community, we're going to have choices."

Barrera said that he does not believe teachers will have to be given pink slips, but he did not rule out a possible salary rollback for every district employee. 

"It's got to be on the table when we get to the point where we're clear about what the numbers are and we've done everything to save money," Barrera said.

Among the possible cuts discussed on Tuesday: the GATE program, sports, music, sixth grade camp, and a drop-out prevention program.

A series of budget meetings have been set up around the district for parents and staff to discuss the looming cuts.

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