With Budget Cuts Looming, Parents Are Furious Over The District's Priorities

We’ve all been there. The purse strings get tight, and that leads you to make some difficult decisions about how to allocate your funds. To get through the rough patch, it’s helpful to have everyone that’s affected by the financial circumstances on the same page. If that doesn’t happen, some serious problems can arise as wasteful and unnecessary expenditures are made.

The San Diego Unified School District is going through that right about now, and parents in the district are having a hard time believing that school officials have their priorities in order.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, the district is looking to trim a substantial amount of coin off of its budget - to the tune of $124 million. That’s led to some job cuts and funding being slashed for other school services. Parents in the district showed up for a contentious meeting to discuss the proposed changes.

“We have to look for solutions. What I’ve heard is, ‘Don’t cut this, don’t cut that,’ but I haven't heard a lot of solutions about what we should cut instead,” said Board President Richard Barrera.

Fair enough, but some parents took umbrage with the fact that the board seems more concerned with pet projects as opposed to making some changes that work for everyone. The district has made it a priority to ramp up anti-bullying efforts against Muslim students, and it has worked hand-in-hand with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to make it happen.

“We will not allow Muslim students in San Diego schools to be spit on,” noted Trustee Kevin Beiser.

Nor should he, but parents are concerned that the district is taking things way too far by introducing Muslim education into the classroom.

“We have made sure that, through the superintendent’s recommendation, we’re going to try to do a better job so when we teach in history class about Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity, we’re also going to teach about Islam,” Beiser said.

“At what point did you decide it was OK to teach my children about Islam?” asked one parent.

Reports indicate that Beiser continued to return to the bullying point ad nauseum, and parents grew increasingly frustrated as the meeting progressed. He failed to offer any solutions for how the district could solve its monetary crisis. Exactly why he is a Trustee remains unclear.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune
Photo: San Diego Union Tribune

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