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Monday meeting in Bird Rock focuses on school budget cuts

School board member John deBeck and Superintendent Terry Grier will speak Monday evening at a community forum organized by a group called “Save Our Principals.”

The 5:30 p.m. meeting will be held at Bird Rock Elementary for concerned parents from six area schools.

Steven Gal, spokesman for the group that includes representatives of PTAs and other parents’ groups, said the meeting will look at all planned budget cuts approved by district trustees. Special emphasis will be put on a plan to cut in half the number of principals for 22 schools. As approved, there will be 11 principals covering those schools.

The list includes La Jolla and Pacific Beach Elementary Schools, Gal said.

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According to a press release about the event, it is designed “to help the school board find better ways to balance our school budgets - without taking away principals, raising class sizes and threatening our successful community schools.”

Gal said at the end of the meeting the group will give deBeck a half hour to discuss his concept of dividing the San Diego Unified district into two separate entities.

A story in Thursday’s Union-Tribune reported that deBeck met with parents and Point Loma residents on Wednesday to detail his plan to create the “San Diego Coastal Unified School District” that would include “three to eight high schools and the middle and elementary schools that feed students to them.”

Gal said although they had invited deBeck several times to speak to the Save Our Principals group on budget matters, he only recently agreed. He then asked for time to present his new idea, Gal said.

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