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MUSD cuts 6x more than neighbors
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In the past, I received $200 for classroom supplies.  Not a month,  not a semester but for the YEAR. I will receive $25 for the year.  And, you might not realize this, but in the past, the school board gave the superintendent a $300 supply allowance.  Not per year, per MONTH.  To his credit, Superintendent Jason Messer turned this perk down.  That’s not the point.  Do you see how this example further illustrates my point of fiscal mismanagement and anti-children policy at the district level?

In fact, there is a 15 percent decline in teacher payroll in the 2009-10 Manteca Unified School District budget.  Other neighboring districts reduced teacher payroll, on average, by 2.5 percent.  For money spent on our district administration payroll in the budget, we see a decline of 16 percent, again most of those losses at the school sites.  For money spent on classified workers (clerks, bus drivers, food service workers, yard duty supervisors, etc...) we see a decline of 4.9 percent.  Now, who took the biggest hit?  The students!  Who teaches the children?  The teachers!  Combine that with the loss of 14 administrative positions at the schools, the students in the classroom are impacted directly and significantly.  In fact, according to the district’s own budget for this year, there are more classified workers in MUSD than there are teachers.  Now, that also means the students have taken the biggest hit by far as well.  Class sizes at every grade level are at their maximum.

Nobody wants anyone to lose their job.  That’s not the point.  “Schools are not an employment agency” as trustees Vern Gephardt and Wendy King said when voting to lay off teachers.  And I would agree with that.  Schools are for teaching kids and that purpose alone.  And that purpose requires teachers, not laying off more teachers than almost any other district in California based on size.  We laid off so many teachers that the Wall Street Journal contacted me for a story because they said they heard that Manteca Unified was “ground zero” for laying off teachers in California’s Central Valley.  Not only that, Channel 10 News contacted me to verify the number of teachers being laid off because they couldn’t believe the number based on our size.  That’s where OUR district is.  Manteca Unified used to be THE place to go for teachers. Not anymore.  Teachers are leaving in droves or staying away.  Why else does the district have to go to Montana to find teachers on recruiting trips?

Do you believe that kids come before district administrators?  If so, I ask you to stand up for our schools.  What can you do?  Go to and click the link that says Stand Up for Schools.  You will be taken to a new page so we can organize everyone that wants to be involved in Standing up for Schools.