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Trustee seeks report on how Measure M funds were used

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POSTED May 9, 2013 1:13 a.m.

The Manteca Unified Board of Trustees on Tuesday night approved the allocation of $700,000 from Measure M funds to repair severely deteriorating pavements at East Union High School this summer.

Similar grounds structural problems are also being repaired at the same time this summer at Calla High and Nile Garden Elementary School. Health and safety issues are behind the dire need to get these repairs done as soon as possible.

But while the $700,000 expense for East Union was given the green light by the board, Trustee Nancy Teicheira brought up another concern: where and how the Measure M funds approved by the voters in the 2004 elections were used.

The Manteca Unified School District Improvement Bond of 2004, also known simply as Measure M, authorized the district to issue and sell bonds of up to $66M “in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for the specific school facilities projects” outlined in the Bond Project List that was part of the ballot measure. Included in that list are annex schools, elementary schools and high schools.

“I’m scared we may have to come up with another bond issue in a few years,” considering there are other schools in Manteca Unified which have not received a slice of Measure M’s funding pie but also have deferred-maintenance issues, Teicheira pointed out.

With that concern presented on the table, Teicheira asked school district officials to come up with a report which clearly shows what schools received Measure M funds, and how much money was spent at those sites, to make sure there would be no “bad taste in some people’s mouth (because) they didn’t get anything.” She said she was worried some people may say, “we didn’t get what was promised” when they voted in favor of Measure M.

Messer said his staff will come up with a report showing the amount of Measure M funds that went to specific schools.

The concern over the use of Measure M funds is a major issue for many schools with a lot of structural health and safety problems similar to what is being corrected this summer at East Union, Calla and Nile Garden Elementary considering the district needs $107M for deferred maintenance, which is money that is not in the budget right now.

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