New school trustees take on rooting out waste

Scott Barnett
Scott Barnett

Two new San Diego school board members will lead a public committee to root out waste in the district's operations, they announced Thursday.

Scott Barnett and Kevin Beiser, who were elected to the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education in November, will head up the Operations and Efficiency Committee, which will be open to interested members of the community who want to help.

The budget shortfall for the next school year, 2011-12, is estimated to be around $120 million. Barnett, a budget analyst, said he hopes the effort will reveal around $50 million in savings in the next year to 18 months.

"Is this going to solve our budget this year? The answer is no," Barnett said at a news conference.

He said he hoped to uncover savings that can be applied annually, making things better in future years.

Beiser, a math teacher in the South Bay, said he wants the committee to bring more common sense to district operations.

"How can we do things better, how can we do things leaner," Beiser said. "We have a fiscal responsibility and duty to our children to provide them with services and a better education."

The committee will be broken down into what Barnett called "Tiger Teams" that will study the district's various functions and take input from employees and the public, and learn what works best in private corporations and other public agencies.

More information on the committee, including how to join, can be found at

, or by sending an e-mail to



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