Your Voice: Yes on B and no racism in TUSD hiring
May 23, 2014 | 4113 views | 4 4 comments | 97 97 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Yes on Measure B


I’m writing to encourage a yes vote on Measure B, the school bond for Tracy schools on the June 3 ballot. I’m proud to live in this community because Tracy is a place that values education. My two kids attend Tracy schools, and I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer at each of their schools. I’ve seen the renovations at Monte Vista Middle School and how they’ve improved my daughter’s education. My other child attends McKinley Elementary School and also has a great experience at her school because of modernization from past bond funds.

Several years ago, I took an interest in the bond process and joined the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee. We review all bond projects and performance and financial audits. I personally can say that the school district has done an outstanding job with past bond funds to modernize Tracy High School and West High School. South/West Park Elementary School renovations will begin soon. Tracy Unified has also received more than $50 million in state and other matching funds to enhance these projects. Measure B will continue the investment our community has made, providing comparable schools for all students. To see the annual report of past bonds in Tracy, please visit Please join me and vote yes on Measure B on June 3.

Teri Cunningham, Tracy

No racism in superintendent choice


I am both a Tracy resident and a former student of the Tracy Unified School District. Your article regarding the district’s contract signing of a new superintendent had me very concerned (“Trustee decries lack of diversity in district office,” April 11).

I strongly agree with James Vaughn, the TUSD board president, that finding someone to fill Dr. James Franco’s shoes would be a challenge in itself. But I do believe that this article inadvertently highlighted a key misunderstanding: Despite Walter Gouveia’s personal opinion, many of the TUSD elected officials and employed staff do demographically represent the district’s growing minority population.

According to Proximity One, 37.1 percent of the students and staff classify themselves as an ethnicity other than White/Caucasian. This would mean that to apply this ratio to the board of trustees, at least two of the members would have to be part of the minority, which is true. But why is there this assumption that the diversity of the board would then hire a superintendent that specifically follows this trend?

What Gouveia seems to be missing in his “lack of diversity” argument is that employment in the Tracy Unified School District is not based on the spoils system, neither biased by whether the candidate is “inclusively or exclusively” white. Was the race card (in this case, reverse racism) actually necessary?

I believe what matters is that the board of trustees chose to hire someone who was qualified for the position, because what good is putting someone’s minority ethnic race on a pedestal, instead of their potential?

In my opinion, Dr. Brian Stephens’ only possible drawback is that he comes from a different school district with a significantly smaller minority demographic. As Gouveia seems to suggest, Stephens may not be as culturally aware as the other candidates that were competing for the job. Why wasn’t that issue being addressed instead?

Camille Manantan, Tracy

Comments-icon Post a Comment
June 03, 2014
VOTE NO ON MEASURE B!!!! While it sounds great, and it is fantastic... I was all for it, tell I researched it... I saw how much it would cost... and how they would get the money... people can't afford this!!! Is it a great idea, yes it is... the economy however is still very unstable... a measure like this could cause considerable problems for Tracy Residents... We have to find another way. Do sales, fundraisers, car washes, etc... instead of taxing the heck out of residents... we need to be smarter about things, not reckless with money we DO NOT HAVE... Please think logically about these Measures on the ballots... while some might be great idea's, if the money isn't there we can't do it...
June 03, 2014
Your post alone shows that we need to invest more in our kids' schools. I was completely against Measure B until I witnessed you so brutally murder the written English language. You've also now made me pro-abortion.
May 26, 2014
Dr Stephens' strongest CREDIT, not his "possible drawback" is that he comes from a different school district. I cannot wait to see what a breath of fresh air someone other than a Tracy croonie can bring to TUSD.

Maybe Ray Strong won't be crawling the halls. Maybe people will earn promotions instead inherit them. Maybe former/retired employees won't be back to take open positions. Maybe instead of a one-time secretary in student services, a professional HR director could be hired.

It won't be WHO you know, but WHAT you know.

Maybe the business services department will be run…Oh, I don't know LIKE A BUSINESS?!
June 06, 2014
The accountable and hard-working employees of TUSD are counting on Dr. Stephens to clean up this fiasco of a district.

In the last 10 years, this district has gone downhill! This IS the lowest morale I’ve perceived from our certificated/classified staff! There is no accountability; a budget that is inadequately structured; and the most untrustworthy board, ever! Your comment, Mr. Vaughn regarding the challenge of finding someone to fill Dr. Franco's shoes...give me a break! This district has proven over and over.....we are ALL expendable!!

Mr. Goodall, thanks for all the manicured and watered lawns (in this drought); what a waste of over-time & water (the City of Tracy is making bank from TUSD), whilst our students are doing without in the classrooms. Ms. Harrison needs to go back to Ed. Services, she has clearly given up which is the reason why Mr. Strong is “crawling” the halls. TUSD needs to hire a proficient Human Resources candidate(outside of this district)and Mr. Heerema, it does NOT take 4-6 week to set-up a bus route and bus pass! This is not how a school district should behave. The future of this district is in the hands of Dr. Stephens. God Bless and guide him!

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