Manteca Unified School District and the City of Manteca are committing to work together to share facilities where possible and keep school resource officers in place at high school campuses.
The two government agencies issued a joint statement Thursday to that effect.
Missteps in past years that current leaders — District Superintendent Clark Burke and City Manager Tim Ogden — questioned as not reflecting due diligence, best practices, and accountability triggered exchanges over the past nine months over whether a quid pro quo arrangement for facility sharing as well as charges for school resources officers were proper.
At one point it surfaced that the city was charging for — and the school district paying for — two of the school resource positions that the voters in passing Measure M in 2006 mandated be funded with half cent public safety tax receipts.
“Our taxpayers pay enough and to have to pay even a dollar more to pay for one of those services is not fair,” Ogden noted during Tuesday’s council meeting regarding adopting the city budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.
Ogden was referencing the collection of Measure M funds to pay for two SROs and then charging the school district for the same two officers’ time spent on high school campuses. The charging of the school district for those officers in a clear contradiction of the voters’ mandate started in 2010, long before either Ogden or Burke were hired to their current jobs as top administrators for their respective agencies.
The two agencies will now hammer out what Ogden described as a “true quid pro agreement” at no cost going forward. Also there will be as detailed agreements for the SROs and facilities sharing beyond a basic memo, a previous practice that Ogden and Burke both characterized as “inadequate” and prompted each push for more accountability.
The exact details have yet to be hammered out but apparently it will involve starting the slate clean without the school district trying to seek reimbursement for previous payments to the city for the SROs.
The council on Tuesday removed projected revenue from Manteca Unified of $100,000 from the upcoming municipal budget as a charge for SRO officers. It was a move Ogden referenced as a “good faith gesture.” Full funding for three SRO officers — one each at Manteca, East Union, and Sierra high schools — is included in the approved city budget.
The joint statement issued by Burke and Ogden for their respective agencies is as follows:
“The City of Manteca and Manteca Unified School District strive to work together for the betterment of those in our community. Both agencies value and support an agreement to share facilities where possible to maximize the available use of taxpayer funded public facilities by each agency, support mutually agreed upon joint use agreements, and to keep our community safe on and off campuses through the School Resource Officer (SRO) program.
“As such, City of Manteca Council members and Manteca Unified School District Board of Trustees are moving forward on next steps to clearly outline a non-monetary exchange agreement between agencies for services and /or resources. Both agencies value program and services while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars aligned to our respective mandates and charged interest. We look forward to collaboratively working together, now and in future years, in order to keep the communities needs and resources as priorities for our organizations.”
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