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San Diego schools give its police 15% pay bump while facing $163M deficit

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(The Center Square) – The San Diego Unified School District approved a contract with the police officers’ union that serves the district which included retroactive raises equaling 15% over two years at a time the district is projecting a $163.6 million deficit in 2025-26.

There are 41 employees in the school district’s police officer’s bargaining unit with an average total compensation of $154,778. A first-year teacher in the district can make an annual salary of anywhere between $63,098 and $78,501 depending on level of education attained.

The policing costs the district $6.3 million a year. The new contract was approved last week includes a 10% retroactive wage increase for 2022 and a 5% increase in July 2023. The district stated it would reopen negotiations later this school year about future pay increases. The contract runs through 2025.

In June 2023, the district projected a $128.9 million deficit in 2024-25 and a $182 million deficit in 2025-26. This March, the district updated its projection for the 2025-26 deficit to $163.6 million.

San Diego Unified School District approved the contract at a time when another large district is removing police from its buildings. Chicago Public Schools board of education passed a resolution in February that directed the district’s CEO to remove the district’s school resource officers by the start of the 2024-25 school year.

San Diego Unified School District didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.