Security, discipline on Modesto Schools agenda

naustin@modbee.comJuly 28, 2013 

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin

— The Modesto City Schools board will consider school safety and discipline issues when it meets tonight.

Board members will discuss hiring school security guards or creating a school district police force. An agenda report gives no specifics on what it might cost to hire guards or create a force.

Chief Business Official Julie Chapin, who prepared the report, said she had not developed estimates. "This is just an opening report to allow board discussion and provide direction to staff," Chapin said.

The district now contracts with the Modesto Police Department for four school resource officers who split their time primarily between the district's seven high schools and continuation school.

Community members and advocate Jacq Wilson will address the board about suspensions and expulsions of minority students. Advocates for Justice will also speak.

In past years, Modesto City Schools' Latino and black students were far more likely to be given out-of-school discipline than white students. Director of Child Welfare Ed Miller said the district brought down the numbers in 2012-13, focusing on interventions and family meetings for less serious offenses.

The board also will get a budget update. The district expects to get a $10.4 million boost from the state's switch to the Local Control Funding Formula, which sets aside extra money for poor students, children in foster care and English learners.

One-time funding for switching to "common core" teaching standards will bring in nearly $5 million for new materials and teacher training over the next two school years.

Despite the extra funding anticipated, delays in state payments could require the district to borrow money within its own accounts, a contingency trustees could also vote on.

Also on the agenda is a plan to add a district office position at a cost of $143,500 for salary and benefits, and $20,500 in office costs. The senior director would join two existing positions overseeing the district's 22 elementary schools. Two others oversee the junior high and high school campuses.

The Modesto City Schools board will meet at 6 p.m. in the staff development center,425 Locust St. The agenda is posted at

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339, on Twitter, @NanAustin,

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