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Semantic decision before board tonight

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POSTED April 28, 2009 2:16 a.m.
By VINCE REMBULAT
Staff reporter of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Transportation coordinator  Jason Osborn could recommend the creation of “no bus zones” in place of “walking distance” during tonight’s Manteca Unified school board meeting.
He recently received 96 comments from several of his school bus drivers along with those attending public information sessions of the past few weeks.
Many of the concerns were safety related.
Trustees will hear the report on the informational item during the 7 p.m. open session in the new administration building.
Earlier this year, the board voted in favor of increasing the walking distance to all students to an additional half mile as part of the Level II cuts to the general fund necessary to bridge the $23.5 million shortfall.
The district is hoping to save $400,000 from this move which could mean implementing a radius at each of the respective school sites in relation to the “no bus zones.” For instance, the kindergarten- through- eighth- grade sites will have a “no bus zone” radius of 1.25 miles while each of the high schools – Manteca, East Union, Sierra, Weston Ranch and Lathrop – could be at 2.5 miles.
Based on the plan, Osborn noted that any services reinstated will have a direct impact to the general fund.
French Camp School, meanwhile, falls into a different category as a program improvement site, and receives Title 1 money.
 The school’s funding outside of the general fund places it in unique circumstances involving transportation. French Camp is likely to maintain all three of its buses.
Meanwhile, Lathrop High, August Knodt, Brock Elliott, George Komure, Lincoln, Mossdale and Walter Woodward, just to name a few, could be without bus services come next year.
In other agenda items:
• The board, in closed session, could appoint a new dean of athletics / secondary education teacher at East Union High. Current dean of athletics, Bill Stricker, recently announced his retirement.
• Trustees, in addition, could announce the new principals at August Knodt School, Calla High and Manteca Day.
• The board is scheduled to pay special recognition to the Black Student Union at Weston Ranch High.
• Trustees are expected to approve the acquisition of an additional 2.75 acres next door to French Camp School necessary in making more room on the rural campus, particularly since the multi-purpose building made possible by Measure M money is due for construction in the very near future.
• The board will further indentify more reductions to classified staff for the 2009-10 school year. Many could come from those positions at the soon-to-be-closed annexes at both Lathrop School and Sequoia School.
• Trustees could consider adopting the 2009-10 school calendar.

For more information, call the district office at (209) 825-3200 or log on to the website, www.mantecausd.net.
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