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Time to stand up for schools

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POSTED August 25, 2009 2:24 a.m.
It’s time to stand up and be counted.  It’s time to stand up for our schools.  It’s time to stand up for our children. Forty-two kids in first grade at Great Valley. Seventy kids in PE at Lathrop High.  High school kids sitting on the classroom floor because there are no seats available.  Class schedules for high school kids being rearranged so they can be put into classes that they do not want just for the SOLE purpose of putting them somewhere.  Don’t believe it?  Ask the high school kids!  Manteca Unified class sizes maxed out across the board, with k-3 classes going from 20-32.  Classroom supply budgets slashed to as low as $25 a year.  The school district claims the budget crisis forced them to do this.  Yes, this financial crisis is unprecedented.  However, every district in the state is dealing with this crisis.  I blame the school district administration for HOW they are dealing with this crisis. I will show how our district imposes actions that are both anti-children and reflect fiscal mismanagement.

Another example is that many administrative positions were cut in the schools, notably several vice principal positions.  The loss of these vice-principal and high school dean positions DIRECTLY affect kids and the learning environment.  If a student is misbehaving and needs to be sent to the office, but there is no administrator available, what happens?  They are sent back to class, further disrupting the class.  The district claims that administrative fat was cut at the top, that 24% of administrative jobs were lost this year.  Yes, that might be true.  But those positions are in the schools.  And that affects kids.  Very few district administrators actually lost jobs.  However, I still see that our superintendent has two secretaries in his office.  Not only that, most of the district office administrators have administrative assistants, secretaries, department supervisors, and clerk typists for their departments.  Look at the staff directory at the district office. Go to the district website at http://www.mantecausd.net/ and click staff directory under either business services, educational services, or personnel services that are listed to the left.  Look at all the people that work at the district office!

Most business executives in companies have a secretarial pool to draw from.  Why are we any different?  I looked at the positions cut at the district office in the district’s budget.  Most of the positions cut are lower paying clerical jobs.  Two of the higher-paying administrative jobs were eliminated and then renamed and filled.  In fact, one of those was split into TWO positions.  This is clearly a case of too many resources spent at the top, and not in the schools.  And in a time of limited resources for schools, it begs the question, why?

Do you believe that kids come first before district administrators?  If so, I ask you to stand up for our schools.  What can you do?  Go to www.mantecateachers.com and click the link at the top that says Stand Up for Schools.  You will be taken to a new page so we can organize everyone that wants to be involved in Standing up for Schools.
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