City Schools’ Budget Cuts Less Than Feared

The budget ax fell Tuesday on San Diego City high school sports programs, but it wasn’t nearly as catastrophic as many athletic directors and coaches had feared.

The San Diego Unified School District, facing a $37-million cutback in funding to several programs, sliced $54,000 from interscholastic athletics, eliminating junior varsity wrestling and junior varsity girls’ volleyball.

The total cut was much less than the figures being tossed around a few weeks ago, and it could have been as much as $160,000 or $200,000. Instead, the school district decided to raise ticket prices to sporting events by $1 and to increase by $2 the amount schools must rebate to the district for every Associated Student Body card sold by the school.

“I think we came out pretty good. Much better than we expected,” said Wayne DeBate, the school district’s secondary athletics manager. “We went from 200,000 (dollars) to 50-something (dollars). I feel pretty fortunate in view of some of the cuts the district had to make in other areas.”


DeBate said the district’s principals and parents were the two major factors in “saving” high school athletics.

“I think the parents’ rallying was the thing that really saved us,” DeBate said. “They made it very clear that they didn’t want anything cut.”