How school districts manage teacher pay amid budget woes

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Although California has increased education funding in recent years, school districts are struggling to make ends meet, and must respond to labor demands while managing troubled budgets.

Most school districts in San Diego County report financial problems that include rising costs for pensions, special education and other services, along with competition from charter schools and declining enrollment at many public schools. In North County, Oceanside Unified School District and Vista Unified School Districts recently received reports from the state Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, ranking them at “moderate risk” of insolvency unless they sharply cut costs.

Districts try to keep those cuts away from classrooms, but trimming millions of dollars from their budgets forces hard choices, educators said.

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