San Marcos making hard choices to close budget deficit – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Budget shortfalls at San Marcos Unified School District are forcing the district to look at larger class sizes, staff cuts and other belt-tightening measures to save $35 million over the next three years.The school board discussed the need to trim spending at a meeting Tuesday when it received its first interim budget report.The district has warned that its funding is not keeping pace with escalating costs for employee pensions, special education, transportation, energy and healthcare. That leaves it with projected deficits of $13 million this year, and up to $23 million by the 2019-20 school year.San Marcos Unified expects to spend nearly $219 million this year, but will receive just $205 million in revenue, the district reported. By 2019-20, its costs will rise above $242 million, but revenues will be $219 million, school officials project.To make up that shortfall, it will need to take cost-cutting measures starting this year, said Mark Schiel, assistant superintendent for business services for San Marcos schools.The district has 20,939 students, and employs 1,097 teachers, 90 managers and 598 other staff positions. It aims to trim $20 million over two years through labor concessions from its unions and from management employees.

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