Say what you want about Manteca Unified School District trustee Sam Fant but he doesn’t deserve the latest black eye that the Manteca Educators Association is delivering.
MEA President Ken Johnson is rallying the troops to attend tonight’s Manteca school board meeting at the district office at 7 p.m.
In an email blast to teachers Johnson slams the district for considering a proposal and study to spend $5 million for synthetic turf at the Weston Ranch High football stadium. There is also a plan to improve baseball, softball, and other outdoor athletic venues at the Stockton campus.
Johnson is correct when he noted the money would come from facilities funds set aside for construction that also happens to cover athletic fields. The fund is the Mello-Roos tax that Weston Ranch homeowners pay. It is also the highest in the district and never goes away unlike in Lathrop and Manteca where the tax is in place.
He asks the question, “I thought out first goal was to keep our schools safe?”
Johnson carried the banner in the successful bond election yet never said a peep after those infamous malfunctioning East Union High fire alarms that the bond consultant’s campaign made such a big deal about was never included in the first projects.
Also, if you listen to gripes from people in Weston Ranch, the proposed field work does address safety issues. Gophers and other issues have made using the fields a dangerous proposition for people who have ankles.
Johnson goes on to state, “the district has spent more money on this study so one of our board members can be seen bringing pork to his area, so he can look good in order to run for Stockton City Council in the future. We are a UNIFIED school district, not a place to use taxpayer money to help one climb a ladder.”
Let’s get a few things straight.
The Mello Roos taxes collected in Weston Ranch can only be spent in Weston Ranch and not elsewhere in the district. And it certainly can’t go for teacher salaries which is the reason why Johnson wants as many teachers as possible to show up tonight wearing red.
Second, it is doubtful many people in Weston Ranch would consider the upgrade of athletic facilities pork. The school sites are the only viable option in Weston Ranch for recreational sports.