MODESTO — Modesto City Schools board members tonight will consider co-sponsoring a special election for taxpayers to weigh in on funding the Enochs High School pool.
A staff report says the advisory election would cost $12,590 to $378,000, depending on if only Village I property owners or all of the district's high school territory is included.
Modesto City Councilman Dave Cogdill proposed the election at a November joint meeting of the council and school board. Cogdill said the city would agree to abide by the voters' decision, avoiding a potential lawsuit over spending more on schools than an early mitigation agreement appears to allow.
The report gives trustees three options:
Hold the special election with the city of Modesto
Not hold the election and continue to reserve millions of dollars already collected to build the pool
Not hold the election, but vote to not build the pool, freeing those funds to help pay off bonds earlier.
In other business, the board will be asked to move ahead with establishing a Joint Agriculture Farm for FFA programs on Modesto Irrigation District land at Church Street near Milnes Road. The roughly $400,000 cost to build a barn and a well, and $1,000 in annual utility costs, would come from funds set aside for career education.
A workshop for the board is set for 3 p.m. to consider the transition to the so-called common core educational standards, a fundamental shift of skill building for all California schools, and to look at test score progress.
Trustees will vote on bringing three days back to the school year, and they will peer over the so-called fiscal cliff and consider a resolution urging Congress to avoid the fall.
The federal government set automatic spending cuts to occur if it could not work out a compromise to trim the nation's deficit spending. The cuts would cost Modesto City Schools $2.5 million, affecting programs for poor children, English learners and special education students.
On a happier note, the board is expected to sign off on a tentative contract with teachers that would restore three school days to this school year. Teachers will vote on the contract Tuesday.
Since the recession started, teachers have taken slightly more than 2 percent in salary cuts and lost 5.4 percent of their paychecks to furlough days, said Modesto Teachers Association President Doug Burton.
Support staff will vote on a similar agreement Wed-nesday, said Aaron Castro, president of the California School Employees Association Modesto chapter. Managers also would have to agree to the change.
Restoring the three days Jan. 30, March 8 and April 29 would cost the district $2.6 million in total.
The Modesto City Schools Board will meet at 6 p.m. today in the staff development center, 425 Locust St. The board workshop is set for 3 p.m. at the same address. The meeting agenda is posted at http://bit.ly/MCSmeetings.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2339, and on Twitter, @NanAustin.