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Sweetwater school district cuts summer school, tutoring to fix $30 million budget mistake

Posted at 4:05 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 19:28:14-04

CHULA VISTA (KGTV) -- In an email to Rancho Del Rey Middle School families, the Sweetwater school district announced Monday they will be cutting after school programs and its 2019 summer school session while it scrambles to fix a $30 million mistake.

Budget reductions were expected but there was no indication when and what would be impacted by the district's effort to solve its financial challenges.

"Due to a district-wide budget shortfall, we are experiencing cutbacks that may affect some parents as they plan for their students outside of school schedules," the letter said.

The after school programs will cease to be offered Tuesday.

San Diego County’s second largest district said in September they found a shortfall in their budget from last year.

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The district has faced years of scrutiny, battling lawsuits for bribery and sexual harassment scandals.

In a meeting on September 24, district officials revealed its 2018-2019 school year budget shortfall citing other expenses from staff raises, including costs of substitute teachers, and an unexpected $1 million expense for utilities.

According to a report by The Voice of San Diego, the shortfall is more than $30 million, mostly from staff raises unaccounted for.

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At an October 8 board meeting, SUHSD staff offered suggestions such as energy cost savings, freezing unfilled positions, and reduction in the work year for all Management.

"Throughout this budget challenge, we believe that we have remained pragmatic, honest, and transparent in our efforts. This process has also enabled us to implement new practices and protocols that will help prevent this situation in the future," the district said on its website.

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It's unclear how the other schools in the district would be impacted and calls to district offices went unanswered Monday afternoon.

Below is the letter Rancho Del Rey families received Monday:

Good afternoon Parents and Caregivers,


Due to a district-wide budget shortfall, we are experiencing cutbacks that may 
affect some parents as they plan for their students outside of school 


-  Effective tomorrow, the after-school homework center in the library will no longer be offered.

-  LCAP-funded tutoring, including morning math tutoring in the library and            Advisory tutoring with Mr. Braito and Ms. Herrera will no longer be offered.

-  Summer school in June of 2019 will not be offered.

-   Credit recovery after school will not be offered, although 
currently we are still having opportunities during the school day

Please know that in keeping with the tradition of educational excellence there will be no impact on the classes offered to our students. Students and parents are encouraged to maintain contact with classroom teachers regarding supports that might be offered during Advisories and lunches.