Editor, Manteca Bulletin:
Due to the positive response to our first community for Manteca Unified School District candidates in Area 4, a second forum in Area 5 will occur tonight, Monday, Oct. 29. It will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Sikh Temple at 4640 Woodward Avenue (corner of Airport Way). The moderator is Daryl Carpenter.
We are thankful for the participation of all our candidates: Kathy Howe (Area 2), Andrea Collins-Cambra and Marie Freitas, (Area 4), Evelyn Moore and Cathy Pope-Gotschall (Area 5), and Stephen Schluer (Area 6), by either attending or answering questions by email to be shared with the community at the forum. Their collaboration is a great reminder that we remain a unified district even if we now elect by trustee area, so we invite community members of all areas of our district to attend the forum.
I found the areas of common perspective among the candidates to be as interesting as the ones of different perspectives featured in the Bulletin’s article (10/18/18). All three candidates who attended agreed that more funds need to go to direct support for students, less time needs to be spent on pullout teacher training, and that the superintendent should forego a raise if the rest of the staff have not gotten one. I certainly agree with these perspectives.
All also agreed that oversight of the district budget is primarily an administrative function, that there is not really a solution for how much personal funds teachers have to contribute for quality instruction and that retaining new teachers is a challenge with limited solutions. From the perspective of students first I hope these ideas are revised as the discussion continues.
Finally all agreed that one of the most important parts of the trustee job is listening to the community.