Schools Budget Passes; Educators Call Amount $5 Million Short

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A $610-million budget that local educators say fails to keep up with student growth, despite a $35-million increase from 1989-90, was passed by San Diego city schools trustees Tuesday for the new school year.

Approval of the budget, $5 million less than what Supt. Tom Payzant said would be necessary to accommodate about 4,000 new students in 1990-91 at last year's funding level, comes almost two months later than normal because of budget conflicts between Gov. George Deukmejian and the state Legislature. State funds account for all but about $50 million of the total district budget.

The new budget includes $6.4 million to cover student growth, largely in expenses to open three new schools, place new vice principals at sites with booming enrollments, and pay for 25 new bilingual teachers needed for more than 2,000 new students whose primary language is not English.

The district will also extend to all 107 elementary schools a program begun last year to give elementary teachers some free time to prepare lessons for their classes.

About $17.5 million will go for 3% salary and benefit increases for district employees. Depending on negotiations between the Legislature and a new governor after Jan. 1, 1991, concerning state educational funds now in reserve categories, more money could be available in the spring for salaries.

To cover salaries and provide for bare-bones growth, Payzant and his staff were required to forgo desired increases totaling $12.6 million for maintenance, instructional supplies and special efforts to prepare more minority students for college.

The district expects 122,500 students this year, up from 118,360 last year, with the largest increases at the elementary level.

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