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Board delays voting on $234M plan
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The good news? The Manteca Unified School District of Education has already agreed to add boy’s volleyball to their list of offerings for high school students in the district.
The bad news? It’ll be another month before the board formally adopts a revised 2016/17 budget pushing $234 million that will allocate the money necessary to start the new sport.
On Tuesday the trustees were set for a standard 45-day budget revise of the master financial document that adopted at the beginning of the fiscal year, but confusion about what was actually included in the revised numbers – which also included the more than $512,000 that was approved to pay for six kindergarten teachers to cut down class sizes across the district – prompted the board to table it until September when they’ll take formal action.
The contention, which grew somewhat heated, centered on whether the district was supposed to remove funding for five teacher/librarian positions that were decided to be removed from the funding list when the formal budget was approved in order to allow for the hiring of the six kindergarten teachers. According to Trustee Stephen Schluer, the direction to staff specifically called for the removal of the positions – prompting him to announce shortly after the revisal’s introduction that he wouldn’t be able to vote in favor of it because it was “wrong.”
By the time the comments of the board made the rounds, Schluer had found the minutes from previous board meetings and requested that the revised numbers, which Superintendent Jason Messer said were merely part of a summary of items that were already approved by the board, be brought back to be voted on once they reflected the necessary changes.
The addition of volleyball, which will be offered at Manteca Unified’s five high schools with other schools from the Valley Oak League and surrounding areas brought in to create a competitive league, added $25,000 to the overall budget. The cost of running the sport might actually end up being higher, but the district, according to Messer, had to budget for the stipends for the five coaches that will be hired to head up the teams. Money for uniforms, equipment and incidentals will likely come from other assorted funds.
But the move to approve the revised budget does mean that Manteca Unified will be deficit spending. The addition of new positions – chiefly the six new kindergarten teachers – will end up throwing the balanced budget that was called for by the board out-of-whack. Those numbers could be restored by the time the items come back to the board for the first official readjustment since they signed off on the financial plan next month.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.