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School Board President Calls Brown's Tax Initiatives 'Critical'

Board of Education President John Lee Evans said the district would benefit from taxes being raised.

The San Diego Unified School District's funding would increase significantly if voters approve Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to raise taxes in November, district officials said Sunday.

Revenue from the tax measure, which would raise income tax on those earning more then $250,000 annually and increase the sales tax by a quarter- cent, would bring about $30 million to $35 million to the district in the 2013- 14 school year, officials said.

"This new information demonstrates just how critical the November initiative is to our schools," said Board of Education President John Lee Evans. "With this additional funding from the initiative, the district would be in a far better position to ensure job security for our teaching staff and to start restoring school days for our students."

The new revenue would have a significant impact on a projected $80 million budget deficit for the 2013-14 academic year and if funds are shifted from deferral buy downs into education, SDUSD could see up to $60 million more, officials said.

State Department of Finance officials prepared the projections to show how revenue for K-12 programs and deferral buy downs would grow under the governor's budget proposals. Funding would increase significantly through the 2015-16 school year.

The district last week reached a tentative agreement with the San Diego Education Association that stated teachers would defer scheduled pay increases until funding becomes available and would be given five unpaid days off. An additional 14 furlough days were possible tax initiative is defeated.

SDEA members began voting Sunday on whether to approve the contract. If it is ratified, the board intends to adopt it Thursday.

"These projections demonstrate the wisdom of the tentative agreement which allows for automatic adjustments for changes in state funding, maximizing our ability to have stable schools, school year restoration and a balanced budget without having to come back to the bargaining table," Evans said.

-City News Service

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