School Board Delays Vote On '09-'10 Budget

Just a week after making cuts to balance the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education learned Tuesday that the district will face an $84 million shortfall the following fiscal year.

The Board of Education was scheduled to vote Tuesday night on the 2009-10 budget, but put off a first reading until a special meeting next Tuesday.

The district needs to present a balanced budget for the next school year to the County Office of Education by July 1, along with a plan for balanced spending for the next two fiscal years.

James Masias, the district's chief financial officer, said his projection for the 2010-11 fiscal year takes into account the fact that a lot of "one-time solutions" were taken to balance the upcoming budget that won't be available in later years.

State funding will remain uncertain, he said.

"They have not done anything at the state level to fix the problem," Masias said.

Final approval of the district's budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year is scheduled for June 23.

On another matter, the board approved a resolution to start moving district graduation requirements toward the University of California system's guidelines.

The UC requires two years of history and social science, four years of English, three years of mathematics with a fourth recommended, two years of laboratory science with a third recommended, two years of a foreign language with another recommended, a year of visual or performing arts, and a year of college preparatory electives.

Students receiving a D or F grade will need to retake the class and earn at least a C.

Board members asked staff members to hold meetings with various "stakeholders," including people involved in special education and English language learners, to develop a plan to implement the new requirements.

Board member John Lee Evans said the plan should keep in mind that many students will not attend universities after high school, but will instead opt for technical training.