It wasn’t that anybody on the Manteca Unified Board of Education had anything against Roger Goatcher.
It was just that some didn’t agree with the way in which he was promoted.
On Tuesday the Board of Education had a brief discussion about the decision the previous month to appoint the administrator to the position of Deputy Superintendent of Schools – working alongside current Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke – rehashing the argument that took place before the 16-year Manteca Unified veteran was elevated to his new leadership position.
At the core of the issue, which was fought last month by Trustee Sam Fant, was why the board appeared to be disregarding its policy when it came to promoting Goatcher – noting that he himself had been accused multiple times of disregarding board policy but it wasn’t something that the rest of the board seemed to concern itself with at the time.
In the eyes of Fant, the board has a policy when it comes to promoting and hiring ranking administrators that calls for the job to be posted. While Goatcher might very likely have been the candidate hired out of any pool of people because of his experience and his reputation, it didn’t seem prudent to disregard that and open the district up to claims of nepotism.
And one of the three sitting board members who voted against Goatcher’s promotion – Trustee Steve Schluer – agreed with Fant and chastised Superintendent Jason Messer for the language that he used the night of the meeting in question.
According to Schluer, Messer had made the comment that the “board violates policy all the time” and that he took exception to that especially considering that the reason it was being brought up in the first place was so that the board would follow policy.
But the options of the board were somewhat limited in the agenda item that was added by Trustee Nancy Teicheira – who voted for Goatcher’s promotion. Legally speaking, the board couldn’t reconsider the move now that’s it has been voted on without first rescinding the previous motion, which would remove Goatcher from his position.
Both Fant and Schluer – who were joined by Trustee Kathy Howe in voting down the move last month – said that they didn’t have anything against him and felt somewhat bad that the situation had become a public one, but needed to stress that it was important for the board to follow policy.
When nobody made a motion to rescind the item, Board President Deborah Romero gaveled the item down for a lack of action – effectively ending the matter since it can’t be brought back up in a public meeting until it’s brought back by somebody who didn’t initially vote against it.
Goatcher was previously the Senior Director of Student Services and is focusing on that aspect of the administrative side in his new role. His previous position is not being filled.
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