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Part of $6.55 million one-time package for teachers, classified staff that worked during COVID pandemic at $2,350 per person
students use “zombie arms” on the first day in school instruction started in October 2020 for primary students that had been switched to remote learning in mid-March 2020.

Manteca Unified teachers and classified support staff that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this month will receive a one-time payment of $350.

That is in addition to one-time stipends for their efforts during the pandemic of $2,350 for teachers and most classified employees. Those classified employees that are noon duty workers will receive $1,160.

Classified staff has the option of still getting a one-time payment of $350 if they aren’t fully vaccinated if they instead become certified in hands on CPR by Oct. 28, 2021.

The overall cost to the district is $6.55 million. The one-time stipends will be covered by $49.7 million in federal COVID relief funds the district is receiving.

That is in addition to a 3.26 percent cost of living increase as well as step movements based on continuing education or longevity steps that are on the table for the school year starting July 1.

The memorandums of understandings (MOUs) that employee bargaining groups hammered out with the district will be subject to public comments when the Manteca Unified School board meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the district office, 2301 West Louise Ave.

The district has consistently made it clear that staff getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was a personal choice for staff. The $350 “bonus” is seen as a way of rewarding those that did get shots plus possibly encourage those that aren’t vaccinated to do so.

And for those classified support employees that for whatever reason do not wish to get vaccinated, the district gave the option of becoming certified in hands only CPR in the coming months to further improve campus safety if they want to snag the $350 bonus.

Manteca Unified was one of only a handful of districts in the state that required all employees — unless they had a pre-existing condition — to physically report to work for the entire school year that was just completed.

That was the case even when almost all students except for small cohorts were 100 percent distance learning for the first three months of the school year.

Manteca was among the first districts to migrate to a hybrid learning system with students on campus four days and remote learning two days starting in late October for primary grades and the remaining grade levels in November.

The reason to have teaching staff on campus before COVID-19 vaccines were available as well as the classified staff to support them was three-fold.

It established a procedure for parents to get in touch with teachers on a set schedule to reach out for help so they could assist their children who may have been struggling with remote learning.

It also assured teachers would have the resources as well as being able to collaborate to be as effective as possible. That included teachers being able to rely on district tech support when issues arose.

The other reason was to prepare campuses for an effective and smooth transition to bring students back to the classrooms. It allowed the district to identify any potential issues with COVID protocols being implemented as well as to make sure the return of students was done in a manner that created no health issues for staff or students.

$305.7 million budget

is up for adoption

The board Tuesday will also consider adopting a $305.7 million budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year starting July 1.

That represents a $21.8 million decrease from this year’s budget. The drop-off is contributed to one-time state and federal COVID grants.

The budget includes a 3.26 percent cost of living increase for employees. That will bring certificated salaries to $126 million and classified salaries to $44.8 million for a combined increase of $12.2 million over the current year budget. Employee benefits also will increase $6.6 million.

Staffing costs — salaries and benefits— for the district’s 2,329 employees will account for 79.8 percent of the overall budget for the upcoming school year.

Employee costs are usually 85 percent of the budget. The drop-off for next year is the result of restricted funding left over from the state and federal governments for one time COVID-19 related expenses.

The certificated staffing in the new budget calls for an increase in 42 positions to 1,272. Classified jobs will increase by 30 full-time equivalents to 826.

There is no increase in classified supervisory or administrative positions that will stay at 46. Certified administrative positions will increase by six-tenths of a position to 86.4.

The average daily attendance enrollment — the actual in school attendance and those absences that are excused under state guidelines — is projected to increase 210 students to 23,870.

That is the enrollment number the state will fund the district with during the upcoming school year.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email