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School board wants complete accountability of city-district uses
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The Manteca Unified School Board of Trustees on Tuesday directed Superintendent Jason Messer to meet with City Manager Steve Pinkerton as soon as possible to get more details on the two agencies’ joint-use agreements governing the use of each other’s facilities.

Trustee Nancy Teicheira made the motion, which was approved by the rest of the board, directing the superintendent to meet with city officials as soon as Manteca’s before- and after-school Kids Zone program gets licensed by the State of California.

The board also instructed district staff to obtain copies of joint-use agreements that the two agencies have with school campuses involved to better scrutinize the numbers involved in the city-sponsored child care programs.

“More of our concerns are coming to light now because we didn’t see the breakdown” of the quid-pro-quo costs at the last two-by-two meeting between the school district and the city, said Teicheira who, along with Trustee Wendy King, represented the district.

Teicheira said she was concerned that “we may not be getting paid” for all the services and facilities provided to the city.

“I don’t want to nit-pick,” Teicheira said, but she took issue of the fact that at the two-by-two meeting, the city did not present a comprehensive breakdown of all the joint-use costs shared by the city and the district.

She also pointed out that at the meeting, she and King were told that there were only eight Kids Zone sites involved. However, upon reviewing the Activity Guide published by the Manteca Parks and Recreation Department, Teichera stated that she counted nine school sites listed in the publication. She even brought a copy of the Activity Guide to show at the board meeting.

“I want the district to look more closely into the numbers,” Teicheira said.

The following is a list of the “known use of non-joint-use facilities between the district and the city” as presented to the board Tuesday night.

City facilities that the school district uses include softball fields, tennis courts, the golf course, and use of some parks and streets.

School district facilities being used by the city are Summer Camp, Kids Zone classes (involving eight campuses), basketball gyms and swimming pool based on the two-by-two meeting report.

As a result of the numbers crunched and presented at the two-by-two meeting, Messer and City Manager Steve Pinkerton believed that “there currently exists substantial equity in direct and indirect costs to the use of these facilities and that current understanding of quid-pro-quo facility use should continue.”  Quid-pro-quo is from the Latin meaning “this for that.” School district officials further recommended that due to the perceived equity in costs, the superintendent and city manager should meet annually to make sure the quid-pro-quo agreement remains even for both parties.

But the board of trustees did not want to wait that long.

Other factors that were taken into consideration during the two-by-two discussion were the costs involved in the School Resource Officer program which currently totals approximately $550,000. The shared costs for fiscal year 2010-2011 are $440,000 paid by the city and $110,000 paid by the school district.

Manteca resident Karen Pearsall, however, told the board that she did not think the SRO program should be included in the shared costs or quid-pro-quo negotiations.

“That’s an entirely different ball game,” Pearsall said, because the SRO program deals with the issue of public safety, while the Kids Zone is making a “very good profit for the city” to the tune of $117,000 a year.

“I’m not trying to make the city look like the bad guy (but) that’s a lot of money,” Pearsall said.