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Bidding underway for after-school program

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POSTED June 28, 2014 12:41 a.m.

Will it be Give Every Child A Chance or another non-profit organization that will run the after-school program at Weston Ranch High School?

The answer to that question will come before the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees at their July 29 meeting.

But if the decision were solely up to board Vice President Evelyn Moore, the Manteca-based volunteer tutoring organization would be the one running the program. GECAC, after all, ran the Weston Ranch High pilot project conducted this past spring and finished it with flying colors.

However, automatically awarding the contract to GECAC despite its proven success would be illegal, Superintendent Jason Messer informed the board at their June 24 meeting. He gave the explanation during the discussion on the two action items on the agenda which centered on the Weston Ranch after-school program proposal.

The first item involved waiving the bidding process for the continuation of the program. That had to be voted on by the board, after which the trustees would again discuss and then vote on giving district staff the green light to start the process of entering into an agreement with GECAC. But that would have been illegal because, according to rules in place, a bidding process has to be conducted if the program budget is above a certain amount which automatically nullified awarding the contract to GECAC without a bidding process. The estimated amount of the proposed after-school program at Weston Ranch is $125,000.

The two action items on the agenda were brought up at the request of Moore. She explained that the reason she wanted the board to make those decision is to “speed up” the process in order to “maintain the momentum” and get the program in place as soon as possible.

At this point, Trustee Nancy Teicheira brought up a couple of questions directed at Moore. The questions were intended to clear the air about any possible conflict of interest, Teicheira explained. The questions were intended to clarify Moore’s involvement with GECAC. In response to Teicheira’s questions, Moore said she is affiliated with GECAC as a tutor, and that involvement is purely voluntary and she is not paid a cent for doing it.

District staff was directed by the board to start the bidding process right away and then come back on July 29 with a list of those that have submitted bids. From that list, the board will vote on which organization should be awarded to run the Weston Ranch High School after-school program.

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