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San Diego schools ask for federal funds to stay open in the fall

San Diego Unified School District board members on Tuesday approved a $1.6 billion dollar back-to-school budget.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The San Diego Unified School District is paving the way for reopening on August 31, with options for both on campus and online learning.

Board members on Tuesday approved a $1.6 billion dollar back-to-school budget, but they said it may not be enough to fully fund the school year because of the added costs from the pandemic.

We are going to operate the schools with students in school as long we can with those funds. The only thing that will stop us from having a complete full year of students in the classroom is if the federal government does not come up with the needed funds,” said Board President John Lee Evans.

Additional federal funds would pay for COVID-19 associated costs, including: counselors in every school to help students with re-socialization, more janitors to sanitize classrooms, and new technology for continued distance learning.

The district is among public schools nationwide calling on Congress to pass the Heroes Act, which could provide $58 billion in total.

The budget comes just days after the district released a new survey about parents’ back to school desires: 

  • Almost 59% of those who responded said they were planning to send their student to school full-time for on campus learning 
  • More than 30% preferred online learning combined with some on site options
  • About 10% were planning for online learning exclusively

For now, the superintendent is promising to get kids back on track.

“We will raise the bar on instruction and active engaging learning experience for all our students no matter what their environment is,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten.

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