State - INACTIVE

Modesto schools superintendent up for another review

Modesto City Schools trustees will evaluate Superintendent Arturo Flores' performance, again, during a closed-door meeting Tuesday. This will be the third private meeting in less than a month about whether to extend Flores' contract.

The superintendent has a four-year deal with the district that expires in June 2011.

Traditionally, superintendents are told at least one year in advance whether they will be rehired.

Employment contract negotiations between school boards and their superintendents are private, but trustees must cast their votes in public. No such public vote is on Tuesday's agenda, so whatever is going to happen will not happen then.

The seven-member school board discussed Flores during a two-hour closed session May 10 and a four-hour special session May 20. His evaluation is to resume Tuesday between 4 and 6 p.m.

On Tuesday's public agenda, starting at 6, trustees will consider approving new contracts with the teachers union, nonteaching employees union and managers bargaining unit.

Those collective bargaining agreements reduce the school year by five days and lower salaries. The district expects the deal with teachers will save $13 million. It expects to save $3.75 million from the deal with nonteaching employees and $2.1 million from the deal with managers.

Also being discussed Tuesday will be the district's formal response to the Stanislaus County civil grand jury's investigation into complaints about Flores, Deputy Superintendent Chris Flesuras and the school board.

The grand jury did not find evidence of actionable wrongdoing, but it made recommendations for improving how the school district operates.

Trustees will consider submitting responses to those five recommendations. The draft reply includes a plan for trustees to review the Brown Act, which is California's open-meeting law.

The school board also would be prohibited from formally reprimanding individual trustees without the issue being placed on an public agenda.

Trustees would agree to have a more comprehensive transition plan the next time they hire a superintendent.

To better communicate with the community, trustees would designate a staff member as the district's public information officer.

And to protect staff members who report wrongdoing by their managers, the district proposed a "whistle-blower policy."

The board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 425 Locust St., Modesto.

Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at jsbranti@modbee.com or 578-2196.

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