Another Contracting Fiasco in the Making for Gilbert Public Schools?

Every now and then, we respond to viewer requests with a post dedicated to them. Today’s post was promoted by a birdie’s chirp: “What’s in it for GPS Chief Financial Officer Jeff Gadd? I’m referring to the Mohave contract. Very bizarre last night. Maybe Westie can go down the rabbit hole.”

[Keyboard to Westie: Hold your nose! There’s a stench coming from that rabbit hole.]

Our birdie was wondering why, in November 2014, it suddenly was essential for the GPS Governing Board to approve a new $1.3 Million contract for new finance and human resources software. It was especially concerning that just the month before, in October 2014, the GPS Chief Financial Officer confessed that GPS had overspent by $15.3 Million and kept it a secret:

Why would the GPS finance dudes and top superintendent dudette suddenly come clean about this missing $15 Million? We’re sure it’s because they now want to get in front of the bad press that ultimately will explode when GPS once again demands a tax override and new bonds.

We were, of course, asking a rhetorical question then. There are more questions that beg for answers: Isn’t it strange that Gadd decided October 2014 was the right time to *confess* that $15 Million in cash is missing from GPS? And that the administration knew it all along? And admin didn’t tell the board? That’s why money started disappearing from the already published GPS budget a couple of months ago.

There’s still a Wild West attitude and plenty of fast-and-loose capers with public dollars that seek to evade oversight. Sometimes the truth can get in the way of professionalism in GPS, such as when Dr. K recreated the Purchasing Manager position and left the Internal Auditor position in Business Services vacant.

It took two board meetings to ram this new software project through. Board President Staci Burk asked CFO Jeff Gadd to provide the board copies of the underlying contract that GPS used through Mohave Educational Services (MES) Cooperative, Inc. (an entity through which school districts make big purchases without the regular bidding process).  President Burk kept asking for documentation of the RFP process – which ought to be on file.  CFO Gadd did everything he could to sidestep; he promised he had done his due diligence, etc.

Wrong! Due diligence is the board’s responsibility, and it’s a red flag of fraud that Jeff Gadd didn’t provide the simple documentation the board president repeatedly requested. No sireee, he gave the board something else: the generic contract presented to the board was the financing document from Kansas State Bank of Manhattan.  There is so much here that doesn’t pass the smell test.

Gadd’s refusal to provide documentation of the original bid just highlights the fact that until recently, GPS’s own purchasing coordinator, Crystal Korpan, was president of the MES Governing Board:

Being the MES board president put Crystal in a position where she could solicit a GPS purchase from MES and then sit on the MES board to approve the purchase without a formal bid. GPS really does have a problem with understanding what a smell test is, don’t you think? Consider this: MES makes a profit as the middle man. That money is not accountable to anyone because it is not subject to open records law.

Good Old Jeff Gadd DID NOT provide the Mohave contracts; only the contract numbers were on the agenda. Gadd said the information would be provided in 2 weeks at the next meeting, which meant, “You gotta pass this and we’ll get you the info later.”

Then two weeks later, the Mohave contract numbers were on the agenda again: Mohave contract 13-R-BFG-0127 with Baystone Government Finance. But the actual contract itself was NOT provided. Instead there was a vendor contract – a smidgen better than the meeting before – but the underlying Mohave contract was still missing in action. One of our birdies who was at the meeting chirped, “Two meetings ago, I heard them talking behind the podium they said that they would only need a sign off from the superintendent and one other board member.” It seems this was all just a formality.

Now factor into this equation that Mohave Educational Services Cooperative had been sued by the Arizona Attorney General for violating the State Procurement Code. Mohave Educational Services Cooperative admitted to that crime in a Court document known as a consent decree. Here’s what the Arizona Auditor General wrote after auditing MESC for three and a half years:

MESC has not followed procurement statutes and rules — Although MESC issues numerous contracts proclaimed to be based on procurement practices that adhere to the Arizona Procurement Code and the Arizona State Board of Education Procurement Rules, we found that MESC consistently failed to follow many of these rules. Specifically, MESC inappropriately used the more subjective request for proposal procurement process; did not properly evaluate vendor responses to those proposals; failed to make determinations of whether prices were fair and reasonable; and improperly awarded contracts to multiple vendors for the same products.

Dollars to donuts there was never an RFP and there was direct contact with the vendor to get the requirements identified so the vendor (voila!) was the best source. And yes, this all feels like the last time GPS bought million dollar software. As a previous GPS Superintendent was forced to explain:

CrossPointe was the student information system prior to our current system, Infinite Campus. The District did sue CrossPointe, but did not win the suit. Basically the lawsuit resulted in a draw because CrossPointe countersued the District.

Even with an RFP process back then, GPS screwed it up in ways that normal people could not have been predicted, ignoring their own staff recommendations and getting rid of an *inconvenient* professional staffer. We haven’t forgotten that the GPS superintendency sprung this lawsuit on a brand-new board back in January 2011. “Trust me” was the mantra back then.

Let’s connect the dots to show this is typical of how GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has operated in the past. In Hartford, in her last year as superintendent, Good Old 7-0 Kishimoto accepted a bid from a charter school to take over one of the public schools. That did not go over very well with the public or with the Hartford board, as reported at the time:

Since the charter school makes claims to be “public,” the question was asked by a board member if any of this plan had gone out to bid through an RFP process. Kishimoto said that “initially” they looked at twenty designs, but did not put the project out to bid in “this round” because “it’s a replication model.” In other words, because Hartford has already accepted one Achievement First school, there is no recognized need from the Superintendent for this bidding process to be followed.

“Trust me” was Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s mantra while she was in Hartford, CT. “No recognized need,” indeed! We’re already hearing those words from HRH 7-0 Kishimoto in Gilbert. We’re also seeing the same thing reported in Hartford during her tenure there:

In the end, the vote was predictable; some Hartford residents have suggested that this entire discussion was staged and that the decision was made long before the Board sat down before the public last week.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  GPS: expect excess.

Gilbert Police Department Investigation Report: Theft – Embezzlement – Felony

We know you’ve all been waiting for the final disposition regarding police reports filed by members of the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board in 2014.

Read the complete police report about “Theft – Embezzlement – Felony” concerning two former Assistant Superintendents of Gilbert Public Schools, Shane McCord and Jeff Filloon.  The police report notes that GPD obtained a court order for employee records in this matter.

Both of these top-level Good Old Boys had contracts with an unusual provision for $2,000.00 to be paid for a special project that had “value to student learning or employee betterment.”  It appears that both top dogs took Steve Miller’s song to heart: “Take the money and run.”

We posted about the situation back in December 2013:

Assistant Superintendents have a really great deal for themselves in Gilbert Public Schools. They’re paid far too much for what they do, and their perks are truly gross when you realize that taxpayers are funding their profligate ways. The jerks who have broken the system continue to profit and party, while some support staff barely make a living wage (and we know some don’t make even that). BOTTOM LINE: Taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from these folks.

The police report includes descriptions of Red Flags of Fraud. We had already posted online the Pay for Additional Work forms signed by Shane McCord and Jeff Filloon and approved by none other than the good old top GOB, Dave Allison.  As the police report shows, McCord submitted an old project he had done years before as part of his doctorate classes, and Filloon submitted an Exit Interview Report that was done by GPS Human Resources.

The key phrase to remember is “Pay for Additional Work.” Why is that important now? Because there are two line items in the 2015-2016 Budget Calendar for Gilbert Public Schools:

Stipends (Addition to contracts)  $1,143,532
Additional Assignments (Hourly) $   563,962

You, dear citizen, and members of the GPS Governing Board apparently are supposed to trust that those stipends and additional payments will go to employees who actually perform valuable work for the district. More of the same old stuff?  Yeah, and we’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Getting back to the police report, it includes Exhibit 11, which consists of 4 pages of confidentiality agreements, described as: “Each of these pages contains the various signatures of McCord and Filloon.” The police report shows that the signatures on the Pay for Additional Work forms “do not match the purported signatures of McCord and Filloon on the confidentiality agreements.” We’ve seen in the past that GPS had a problem with forgeries and it appears that the GOBs were at it again.

Another interesting entry is Exhibit 15: Transcript of the sworn deposition of David Allison regarding “A pattern and practice of systemic concealing routine GPS records in order to avoid producing those reports in response to public records requests made by citizens.” We’ve posted about that, too.

Notably, there were no administrative evaluations for Jeff Filloon from 2005 through 2012.  Those evaluations must be only for lesser beings, not the dude who was being groomed to be the top Human Resources honcho. Be sure to look at the rocket career of Shane McCord in the police report … he taught for two years, but seems to have a performance appraisal for only 2012-2013, the same year Jeff Filloon was evaluated.  Also notice that both poor, underpaid top dogs were given $3,384.00 for special projects during the school year 2013-2014. [Gag]

As for Dave Allison, he started with GPS in 1993 as an assistant superintendent and ascended to being top dog in 2008. Allison had a whole bunch of Employee Action Requests, but the police report redacted what they were about. Any chances Good Old Dave was collecting extra pay under this same scheme?

Good Old Dave (GOD?) and his civil lawsuit defense attorney Elizabeth Gilbert of the law firm Jones, Skelton & Hochuli were interviewed in the police station in April 2014. We had posted about Good Old Dave’s special contract provision and his get out of jail free card — looks like Dave knew what he was doing when he negotiated indemnity!

Dave also is indemnified against CRIMINAL CHARGES! He can have his own independent legal counsel when he and the board are co-defendants. Basically, Dave had and still has a blank check for misconduct as superintendent. No wonder he destroyed his files before he left! Anything he did, including covering his tracks, would not only be forgiven, he would be defended with taxpayers’ money. We all know how lawyers paid by risk trusts in Arizona can feather their own nests if and when a school board enables that kind of behavior.

Here are more astounding details from the police report that you can’t make up (as Dave Barry so famously says):

Mr. Allison told me … Shane and Jeff in terms of assistant superintendents like in other school districts (Chandler, Mesa, Higley) were pretty underpaid. That’s some one the cultures of the Gilbert School District … Jeff had come to me a year earlier and said, ‘is there something we can do for these guys? cause there working on their doctorate degree, their doctor of education and working full time for the district. Kinda burning a candle at both ends.’ Mr. Allison advised Jeff, he understood however, they took it upon themselves to work on their doctorate. Mr. Allison went on to say if there was something they were dong in their extra time that’s going to value the district, in otherwords part of their research doing for their doctorate degree is going to help the district he would include a stipend to their income in their contract for the school year. This was approved by the School Board under line “H” in the contract for Jeff Filloon and Shane McCord and is renewed on a yearly basis.  [sic]

…I asked Mr. Allison if it was okay that they were working on the same special project from the previous year and he stated it was because it takes several years to complete the doctorate. It is also normal to pay for the special project during the payperiod not upon completion of project.  [sic]

It gets worse, as things usually do in Gilbert Public Schools.  In May 2014, Shane McCord was interviewed again, and he basically said he didn’t do anything wrong:

Shane also pointed out that his contract that was signed by the Gilbert School Board authorized $2,000 stipends per year (line H of the contract). He also pointed out that it was not a requirement to have the form signed nor provide proof of work completed.

There you have it, GPS employees: the top dogs not only got raises disguised as stipends while your pay was frozen for five years, they didn’t have to prove they did the work they were supposed to do. Good Old Jeff Filloon also raised the specter of mass layoffs of employees by rewriting the RIF policy in April 2014, while the police were investigating his behavior and *special* payday deals. 

You know where this is going, don’t you?

Based upon the above information, it was determined Jeffrey Filloon, Shane McCord and Dave Allison committed no criminal act regarding this investigation. The merits of the contract approved by the Gilbert Public School Board were met based on this investigation. It was also determined there were no forged signatures based on the information gathered during the course of this investigation. This case will be cleared UNFOUNDED.

Well, with THAT kind of investigation, it’s no surprise that the final comment includes “MCAO DECLINED TO PROSECUTE.” Public policy be damned! The case came back from the Maricopa County Attorney’s office in September 2014, and the Gilbert Police Department decided:

After a review of this report, it was deemed that this case was a “Civil Matter-Not Criminal”

No charges will be filed on Jeffrey Filloon and Shane McCord.

We’ll take this *exoneration* for what it is: no criminal charges but certainly not a determination of innocence. Sure Jeff Filloon and Shane McCord didn’t take the taxpayers for a ride. [sarcasm]

What are the chances that Jeff Filloon in the Chandler School District and Shane McCord in the Mesa School District are doing the same old stuff?  Sure, they’re upstanding citizens and trustworthy stewards of the public purse. [dripping sarcasm]

Evidence is piling up about misuse of public funds and other wrongdoing by Gilbert Public Schools top dogs, regardless of whether it’s criminal conduct. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but we’ll be patient. We’ll continue to tie up loose ends as the year comes to an end. Chirp, chirp!

Gilbert Public Schools Overspent by $15.3 Million; Hid It from the Public

bigbucksWe recently asked if Gilbert Public Schools lost $12 Million.  Our birdies caught the finance dudes changing the online budget slides for the current year.   They were caught red-handed, but there’s more to the story, which is business as usual in GPS. Now the GOBs have admitted to overspending by 15.3 MILLION DOLLARS; they also confessed to hiding that from the Governing Board and from the public since 2010.

Our birdies have shown they can be bird dogs and blood hounds when they’re tracing public money.  Gilbert Public Schools spent more than $15 Million they didn’t have, and they admit they hid this deficit from the public and got caught when someone changed the budget documents online to hide some losses. If our birdies hadn’t caught this sleazy trick, do you think the GPS GOBs would have confessed to the missing $15.3 Million? We don’t either.

Here it is, clipped from the *official minutes* of the special meeting on October 14, 2014: GPS started the current budget year with a $15.3 Million DEFICIT. Watch Jeff Gadd explain that $15.3 Million is missing from the Maintenance and Operations fund, the largest cash fund GPS has.

When board member Julie Smith asked a direct question about whether the deficit was ever disclosed to the public, finance dude Teddy Dumlao tap danced and said fund summaries are on the GPS *web page.* Dude! We already caught you guys CHANGING the fund summaries online! Teddy Dumlao says, “It wasn’t a concern until it affected the tax rate.” Sheeesh.

Gadd and Dumlao whined that it was all the fault of the county because the county didn’t collect as much in taxes as the school district was spending. Not our fault, they proclaim. We were doing just fine on spending the money that was in the budget that the governing board approved … because we recommended they approve what we were going to spend anyway. Business as usual in Gilbert Public Schools. <yawn>

Board member Daryl Colvin wove the loose ends into a tapestry, showing that no one had done anything about the $15.3 Million deficit. He asked the GOBs if that was a fair characterization, and they agreed. Colvin explained that his constituents brought to his attention that their tax bills increased between about 10% to 50%. As Colvin said, there was no regulatory agency explaining what happened; the tax increases just appeared. Once again, GOB Gadd tried to spin it by talking about how even if the tax rate didn’t go up, the taxes could go up if the property value increased. Gadd should learn when to stop digging himself into a hole, don’t you think? Dumlao had already confessed that it “affected the tax rate” – see above. <facepalm>

Two weeks after GPS admitted to losing more than $15 Million, Moody’s dropped the district’s bond rating … again:

Moody’s Investors Service has lowered its rating on $149.6 Million in outstanding general-obligation bonds issued by Gilbert Public Schools because of the district’s financial challenges. The bonds are secured by property taxes. Moody’s said in its statement that Gilbert schools’ biggest liabilities are limited fund balances relative to similar school districts and ongoing reliance on short-term borrowing to manage cash flow.

Notice that GPS bonds are secured by citizens’ property taxes. One of the reasons this special board meeting was held was because citizens were complaining loudly about increases in property taxes that were showing up in their tax bills. Good Old Jeff Gadd was spinning as best he could to confuse the public and the board about where the $15 Million went, and why GPS superintendents had kept it secret from the Governing Board and public. After all, the GPS bond rating had dropped earlier in 2014, and we connected some dots back then to the huge salaries being paid to top admins.

Now we’re seeing the direct link between GPS budgetary secrecy and property taxes. No matter how many times GOBs try to tell you it’s because your house is worth more money and THAT’S why your taxes are going up, we all know the truth. But will GOBs tell the truth? No, it seems to be a congenital failing of people who choose superintendence as their life’s work. Perhaps it’s because with all the big bucks they’re paid, they truly don’t understand that the *little people* they so despise actually live within their own budgets.

When the superintendency blows through $15.3 Million with no accountability for five years, it’s easy to understand why those GOBs think they are Masters of the Universe. They really, really want to join the *big boys* of the finance world, complete with a specialized jargon that makes their jobs seem *wizardly* and therefore too cool for taxpayers to  comprehend. Yeah, we all know where THEIR heads have been, now that the truth comes out about those years of budgetary excess.

Suddenly, it makes sense that the friendly GPS auditor was complaining about $7,687 in cash going missing last year. It’s just *too bad* that friendly auditor didn’t notice the $15.3 Million deficit their buddies had been hiding for a few years. Here’s why GPS’s friendly auditor was concerned about a few thousand bucks:

Instances of financial fraud are commonly associated with weaknesses in the tone at the top. Poor tone at the top may include instances of the following: a disparagement of internal controls, an overemphasis on other objectives such as fund balances or achievement of certain projects at the expense of ethics, a belief that compliance with the letter of the law is sufficient for appropriate ethical behavior, accommodations of some stakeholders but not others, blaming higher-ups or colleagues for unethical practices and conflicts of interest.

Why would the GPS finance dudes and top superintendent dudette suddenly come clean about this missing $15 Million? We’re sure it’s because they now want to get in front of the bad press that ultimately will explode when GPS once again demands a tax override and new bonds. Maybe they’re banking on this issue becoming *old news* now that election season is over.

District chief financial officer Jeff Gadd said the rating, from to A3 to from A1, is still a good one and should not interfere with future bond sales.

Aha! As we posted back when Jeff Gadd became the biggest loser ever to become Chief Financial Officer for Gilbert Public Schools

Jeff Gadd is already talking about a bond issue and tax increases after the election in November 2014. Surely you have noticed that Christina Kishimoto pals around with candidate for school board Jill Humpherys, whose constant lament is that there won’t be an override for GPS on the ballot.  Dr. K’s signal is loud and clear: she needs Jill Humpherys to carry through with her plans for GPS (not that Dr. K has told anyone what those plans are, other than sweeping generalities, but we digress).

Under the leadership of Her Newness, “7-0 Kishimoto,” the GOBs’ answer to the $15.3 Million deficit is spending more than a million dollars on new finance and human resources software. Boy, oh boy, do we have some well-connected dots to share with you about THAT! Coming soon …

How Gilbert Public Schools Holds Wrongdoers Accountable (Or Not)

One of the great things about being Westie Connect is that we can travel the globe knowing that birdies are keeping tabs on the remnants of the Good Old Boys in Gilbert Public Schools. Thank you, birdies! We’ve got your back on your latest chirps. It shouldn’t take too long to see results.

It appears that the GOBs have been back in business since the new superintendent’s arrival … business as usual. This is going to keep us busy for quite a while revealing some of the new shenanigans, but we’re up to the challenge. If what’s past is prologue, we’ll be busier than ever when the new board is seated in January 2015.

A Westie fan asked us to follow up on the incident in which Coach Rutt was investigated by the Gilbert Police Department. We found that East Valley Tribune reporter Eric Mungenast already had taken up the challenge:

An investigation by the Gilbert Public Schools district into allegations against Gilbert High School football coach Tim Rutt indicates Rutt violated both district and Arizona Interscholastic Association regulations.

Rutt received a written reprimand from district Superintendent Christina Kishimoto after his son was paid by a member of the team’s coaching staff and for his own misuse of funds provided by the Tiger Touchdown Club.

A parent donated $2,000 for Rutt to purchase new furniture for his office. He instead ordered the furniture for his home and moved his old personal furniture into the office.  The Gilbert Police Department investigated the charge and determined Rutt did not commit a crime.

We had given Superintendent Christina Kishimoto a shout-out for her initial actions to investigate the reports about Coach Rutt’s conduct. We were bitterly disappointed in what she did as a follow-on: she wrote a sternly worded letter to Coach Rutt and put it into his *permanent file:*

Rutt admitted during an interview with the district he purchased the new furniture for his home and donated the old furniture to the school. Although he said he had approval by the booster club’s president to do so, Kishimoto said the act was a violation of district policy because neither district administration nor the governing board approved it.

“This action calls into question your ethics as a professional educator along with your common sense,” she added.

There’s more: apparently, Coach Rutt had some sweet little deals going on at Gilbert High School, the kind of deals we’ve been trying to bring to the attention of the GPS Powers That Be for the past two years. As intrepid reporter Mungenast writes, GPS substantiated the kind of shenanigans that have been the subject of many reports that previously were ignored:

Two additional charges against Rutt substantiated by the district concerned payment for Rutt’s son Tyler, who serves as an assistant coach for the team, and both violated Arizona Interscholastic Association and district policies. According to district documents, Tyler Rutt received almost $2,000 from another assistant coach as payment for working with the team. District policy does not allow for family members of head coaches to work for a team.

Similarly, the documents state both Tim and Tyler Rutt, Jared Baker and Gregory Cole received $400 from the booster club — a fifth coach, Justin Evans, received $750 — at Rutt’s request in 2013. An email from Rutt to former treasurer Jen Baragar stated the payments were for attending a clinic.

Both instances violated an AIA statute that prohibits coaches from receiving payment from any other source outside of the school district.

The investigation also found Rutt commingled three bank accounts — one personal, one for his business, Elite Sports LLC, and one belonging to the booster club — and bid for a bicycle at a booster event and did not pay for it.

It appears that Superintendent Christina Kishimoto finally discovered what we have been reporting is a feature, not a bug, in GPS financial accounting controls:

“The fact the ability to obtain information in this case was so challenging only confirms the fact monies were not handled in the professional way we expect from our employees,” Kishimoto wrote.

Superintendent Christina Kishimoto took some really, really serious actions to hold this popular role model accountable for his transgressions. After all, it happened during the middle of football season [sarcasm].

… the district directed Rutt to return the furniture purchased with the booster funds to the football office or reimburse the booster club $2,000; to stop handling any funds related to the booster club; to ensure employees or volunteers are paid through district funding; and to review policies.

Maybe this superintendent will gain enough confidence to hold people accountable for their actions one of these days. Cough, cough. Yes, that’s also a sarcastic comment: the silly response to someone sending emails to all GPS employees through the district’s computer system proves the point:

“The tech services department has now changed the configuration on the e-mail server, and it is no longer possible for someone outside the district to send e-mail to group distribution lists,” Kishimoto said in an statement.

“Our e-mail system was not ‘hacked’ and there are no security issues.”

Silly Rabbit, tricks are for kids. If we know ways for the public to send emails to all GPS employees using the GPS server (and we do, of course), you know the bad guys know them, too.

BTW, the idea of not allowing certain GPS employees like Coach Rutt to handle funds, all of which are public funds when money is entrusted to GPS for any purpose, is a smart move. It might be even smarter to be proactive in the case of convicted criminal Brian Yee at his campus, especially now that GPS is aware that Good Old Brian Yee has filed for bankruptcy. As we’ve said before, there is a LOT of unregulated cash floating around the admin offices of each and every GPS campus.  We believe in helping honest people stay honest through effective financial controls. In the case of a self-confessed embezzler, GPS might do well to keep a close eye on Greenfield Junior High School’s finances.

[Keyboard: Sigh. Like anyone at GPS ever listens to Westie…]

How’s the New Superintendent Doing? Not Very Well.

New GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto wrote to board members on May 27, 2014, highlighting key reasons for past failures of overrides for Gilbert Public Schools. We’ll take a look at her list and see what Dr. K has done about the deficiencies she described before taking the helm of GPS.

1. A general perception by some community members that our school finance approach does not prioritize classroom needs;

2. The lack of quality information from the district about what constitutes appropriate centralized services that are in support of schools, i.e. administration, transportation, special education and so forth;

3. The lack of quality reporting by the district around the unmet infrastructure needs of the school system and the long-term impact these will have if these needs are not addressed;

4. The absence of a strong marketing and communications approach by the district where we control our message;

5. The lack of community understanding of the impact of frozen, uncompetitive teacher salaries on our overall district capacity and classroom instruction capacity to meet student needs; and

6. The coordination of a well-organized opposition approach.

As we all know, Christina’s powers of persuasion were ineffectual in trying to convince a board that’s tuned into public discourse that GSP *needs* more money. Christina and her two training wheels  Interim Superintendent Jim Rice and Financial Consultant Jeff Gadd failed to convince the Governing Board that it was the right time to send a third override request to cranky voters who don’t trust the  GPS superintendency to be faithful stewards of the public purse. It looks like GPS leadership is stuck on tricycles for the foreseeable future.

We asked for public records related to a 90-day entry plan that Dr. K referenced in a different document. GPS responded (original in red): “The District has made numerous searches and no documents were located, therefore, the District is not in possession of any document that is responsive to this request.”

Nevertheless, when we arrived at the Great White Temple of Doom to review public records, Dr. K’s 90 day plan was there! Go ahead, see if you can translate all the edu-speak. Our first impression wasn’t very good. Although the document claims to have been submitted to the governing board *by* Christina herself, the text is written in third-person, indicating someone else wrote it.

[Our guess is the highly paid public relations consultant. We’ll share the invoices and checks paid to this consultant/contractor in a future post.]

The author of the document, who apparently didn’t get the memo that it was supposed to be ghost-written, flunked apostrophes. See paragraph 5d on page 6.  The writer apparently doesn’t know her asterisk from a hole in the ground: the asterisk at the end of the document appeared out of nowhere, but we’ll save you the search for meaning. The asterisk refers to text on page 4, paragraphs 5 and 6.  Dr. K doesn’t want  any *unstructured* dialogue with anyone below the level of principal! Exception: Dr. K will “meet with the Teacher Association president” without structure. We’re guessing everyone will wear closed-toe shoes for these meetings. But we digress.

Let’s look at each area of Gilbert Public Schools that Dr. K highlighted as deficient in the letter referenced above:

“General perception that our school finance approach does not prioritize classroom needs.” We’ll grade that as FAIL. Christina’s coronation showed us exactly where her priorities are, and they’re not in the classroom.

“Lack of quality information from the district about what constitutes appropriate centralized services.” We’ll grade that as FAIL, too. Accelerated Reader, one of the favorite educational programs used in elementary classrooms, was cut on her watch.  Dr. K expects PTAs to step up and fund AR if they want it in their schools. There are more administrators making more money while classrooms lack paper and other essential supplies, like soap for restrooms.

“Lack of quality reporting by the district around the unmet infrastructure needs of the school system.” As far as we can see, there is no reporting of much of anything by the district. The *consultants* who updated the website at great expense didn’t understand what was needed, did they? FAIL.

“Absence of a strong marketing and communications approach by the district where we control our message.” Leaving the Community Relations department flailing for so long certainly merits a big fat FAIL. A highly paid and mostly invisible *consultant* counted her money all the way to the bank. “Control of the GPS message” was abdicated long ago. FAIL.

We did notice that someone finally managed to change the Wikipedia article about GPS. It took a long time, didn’t it? Wiki gods don’t like aggressive editing.

“Lack of community understanding of the impact of frozen, uncompetitive teacher salaries.” This is flat-out wrong. Most of the community understands very well that GPS teachers are underpaid. GPS hasn’t been able to convince the community that hiring more, more and more highly paid administrators will set the GPS ship right. The environment in which new hires are paid more than loyal employees is a long-standing embarrassment. Allowing this situation to fester merits one more big fat FAIL. BTW, frozen salaries were a superintendent initiative more than five years ago. The community didn’t have a voice in that. FAIL.

“Coordination of a well-organized opposition.” You betcha! The opposition organized over a period of time in which tone-deaf, bone-headed decisions emanated from rubber-stamp boards and incompetent administrators. Then there was the overall stench of corruption at the top. Add the impression that Good Old Boys were rewarding each other and their pals with public dollars while they partied on the public dime. We’ll grade this SATISFACTORY … because Dr. K’s leadership thus far keeps the opposition organized. It’s not that she is doing a good job at something over which she has no control. Obviously, if Dr. K was doing what needs to be done, the opposition would be fading away and withering on the vine with their services no longer needed.

What in the world was Dr. K doing during the time when she went “on vacation” in Hartford in March 2014 and when she took over GPS at a salary of almost $1,000.00 per day? She dawdled about recruiting  top lieutenants, leaving key positions long unfilled. After her first choice was rejected, Dr. K filled the CFO position with the dude who taught Arizona Good Old Boys how to play GOB financial games with public money, rewarding his superintendents along the way.  Dr. K sure seems to think everything in GPS is hers: her board, her leadership team, her plans that she hasn’t shared with the public.

We don’t see a lot of success from Her Newness. That’s part of a pattern she has practiced to perfection. First Hartford, where the news was negative about her interpersonal relations and communication skills. She got handed her walking papers on a 7-0 vote against renewing her contract.

Kishimoto had not been a K-12 teacher, principal or superintendent. She had little administrative background and had no feel for the politics of the job. What seemed to frustrate board members was what they viewed as a missing sense of urgency on Ms. Kishimoto’s part. Board members said they pushed Ms. Kishimoto for credible plans to improve all schools, to no avail. A section of a ceiling collapsed in a classroom, sending a student and a teaching intern to the hospital with minor injuries. This could have been a lot more serious, and board members feel Ms. Kishimoto has not been as attentive to the condition of the buildings as they’d like.

Her boss was blunt about her performance that led to the 7-0 vote to send Christina packing:

Superintendent Kishimoto is dedicated to educational reform on behalf of Hartford students; however, achievement levels remain unsatisfactory despite the significant amount of resources invested. In response, the Superintendent has stated that improvements in academic achievement will take 20 years. That is unacceptable. Hartford students deserve a leader who strengthens and accelerates the quality of their education at a faster pace.

We shall bestow a new name on Her Newness: 7-0 Kishimoto. From the video below: “Respect is a two-way street.” Remember, you could have had Westie for superintendent.

Preventing Fraud by Shining the FOIA Spotlight

We’ve posted about how hard it is to get information out of Gilbert Public Schools, especially since the managerial mindset is that Freedom Of Information Act requests cost the district money by forcing GPS to respond to those requests. It looks like Christina Kishimoto wants to restart up the old mushroom treatment.

Liberating a copy of the complete audit from last year was worth the FOIA effort. As we read the GPS responses to the glaring discrepancies the audit found, we recalled how the Good Old Boys used to work overtime to keep this kind of information out of public view. They spent a lot of money doing that, as well.

We told you about how GPS “lost” in court again … and paid a price for it. We guess that the GPS GOBs don’t think twice about dropping $125,000 plus to litigate a losing proposition, but we know that Gilbert citizens resent such huge sums of money being funneled away from educating students.

A couple of members of the GPS governing board and the wannabes that want to “take back” the board seats they lost are now complaining about the high cost of fulfilling requests for public records. One wannabe who couldn’t get elected after he had a seat handed to him is now in full battle mode about the costs involved.  But we digress.

Remember when Good Old Clyde Dangerfield got rid of the Internal Auditor so he could promote Crystal Korpan? Those chickens are coming home to roost. Let’s start with the GPS wahhh-mbulance responses to discrepancies that appear on page 26 of the 2012-2013 Audit:

For several months we were behind in cash reconciliations due to a lack of resources. Additionally the person solely responsible for reconciliations left the District a few weeks prior to the audit. We have since restructured the process and methodology to allow a coordination of several resources to aid in this effort and stay up to date. Regarding the equalization posting, we had a few discussions with the county office to determine when the revenues should be posted since we were well into the encumbrance period. The payments were not received in the old fiscal year as they should have been, and since we were still behind on reconciliation the correction was not made. The $7,678 is related to items waiting to be cleared from several months of posting that are still being caught up.

Recall that GPS’s *lack of resources* was a self-inflicted wound. GPS really played that small violin anyway, blaming all kinds of problems on the one employee who left a few weeks prior to the audit. What’s important in all this hand-wringing and misdirection is that the *tone at the top* is one that could have indicated financial fraud. Even when audits are conducted. Let’s look at what GPS’s friendly auditor, Heinfeld Meech & Co has to say about circumstances eerily similar to what’s been going on in GPS in recent years among the top dogs in the superintendency:

Instances of financial fraud are commonly associated with weaknesses in the tone at the top. Poor tone at the top may include instances of the following: a disparagement of internal controls, an overemphasis on other objectives such as fund balances or achievement of certain projects at the expense of ethics, a belief that compliance with the letter of the law is sufficient for appropriate ethical behavior, accommodations of some stakeholders but not others, blaming higher-ups or colleagues for unethical practices and conflicts of interest. …

The bottom line is ensuring our decisions are based on the best interest of the district and the students and community served. Conflicts of interest can get in the way of conducting ourselves in this manner. Competing interests can include outside financial relationships, the desire for professional advancement and the desire to do favors for family and friends. If conducting operations in the best interest of the district and the students and community served is not enough motivation for ensuring a strong tone at the top, how about preventing fraud and the loss of the district’s resources?

There’s still a Wild West attitude and plenty of fast-and-loose capers with public dollars that seek to evade oversight. Sometimes the truth can get in the way of professionalism in GPS, such as when Dr. K recreated the Purchasing Manager position and left the Internal Auditor position in Business Services vacant. What could go wrong, especially since GPS gets audited by Heinfeld, Meech & Co regularly?

External audits are implemented by a large number of organizations, but they are among the least effective controls in combating occupational fraud. Such audits were the primary detection method in just 3% of the fraud cases reported to us, compared to the 7% of cases that were detected by accident. Further, although the use of independent financial statement audits was associated with reduced median losses and durations of fraud schemes, these reductions were among the smallest of all of the anti-fraud controls analyzed in our study. Consequently, while independent audits serve a vital role in organizational governance, our data indicates that they should not be relied upon as organizations’ primary anti-fraud mechanism.

…Most occupational fraudsters exhibit certain behavioral traits that can be warning signs of their crimes, such as living beyond their means or having unusually close associations with vendors or customers. In 92% of the cases we reviewed, at least one common behavioral red flag was identified before the fraud was detected.

We don’t for a moment think that most GPS employees are bad people, but the chirps we heard about *training* sessions dealing with handling cash have become alarming. Some of these training sessions seem to be focused on how to get around the rules. We also hear about making employees sign statements that they won’t do bad things any more, now that they’re *trained* as the audit responses promised. Unfortunately, some of those same folks are passing along knowledge about how to get around payroll roadblocks. There’s a lot that will be coming to light in coming months.

We’ll close with Heinfeld, Meech & Co’s discussion of how good people find themselves involved in fraud:

Terms like micromanaging, lack of trust, red tape, and jumping through hoops are used to describe work processes or environments which seem to have an undue amount of oversight over routine activities. While these extra steps may be perceived as inconvenient to employees, they are put in place to protect the organization itself as well each individual within the organization.

GPS has a long way to go, it seems. Celebrating convicted criminal Brian Yee shows tone-deafness continues, especially considering allegations against Coach Rutt.

Survey Says … Some People Have More Money than Brains

Amateurs in politics make truly funny missteps and mistakes. Here’s one that will gain national attention for tone-deaf bone-headedness that is the specialty of some of the leaders and wanna-be leaders of Gilbert Public Schools.

It’s no secret that some of the candidates for the two GPS Governing Board seats are particularly well-funded and have a lot of friends. What do you think would happen if some of those *friends* decided a poll would reveal the true state of the political scene in Gilbert, Arizona? Non-stop hilarity! [Waving hi to Blake Sacha and Jennifer Halvorson and their friends who donated.]

The folks behind Rebuild Our Gilbert Board filed a Pre-Primary Election Report  that included donations and expenditures related to Public Policy Polling and a poll that purported to reveal the REAL political climate in Gilbert. Take a look at page 4 of the report, where you’ll see a $2,500.00 donation by C. Dean Debnam, CEO of Workplace Options, on June 7, 2014.

C. Dean Debnam also is president of Public Policy Polling. What a coincidence! If you look at page 6 of the report, you see that Rebuild Our Board paid exactly $2,500.00 to Public Policy Polling a week before the PPP president donated to this Political Action Committee. Isn’t that convenient?

It was a bit more than *convenient,* as Good Old Boy Charlie Santa Cruz, candidate for one of those board seats explained. Notice his explanation mucked up the dates even more. We may be on to something here:

Public Policy Poll Astounding and Revealing: The respondents to a poll that was conducted on May 21st and 22nd provide us with an assessment of how members of our community evaluate the performance of the GPS Governing Board.

There also was a press release from the PAC confirming the dates of the poll:

“It’s very unusual to see disapproval numbers this high in a local election,” says Jim Williams, issue polling specialist at Public Policy Polling, a firm that has conducted public policy surveys since 2001. Smith is referring to a recent telephone poll his company conducted May 21-22, 2014.

Hilarity ensues with the hackneyed summary and analysis of the results of the poll:

The 16-question poll included 343 Gilbert residents; fifty-three percent of the respondents disapproved of the governing board’s performance. Though less than half have children attending Gilbert Public Schools, they demonstrated a solid awareness of school district issues. An overwhelming majority (97 percent) indicated they are certain to vote in the November election.

Friends of Charles Santa Cruz are not revealing any background of the poll, like what the 16 questions were and how the 343 Gilbert residents were selected in the first place. No sirree! You’re supposed to *trust* that they’re reporting, summarizing and analyzing everything accurately. It might be because national media outlets have severely criticized PPP for being untrustworthy in those areas in the past:

PPP doesn’t follow many of the industry’s best practices, like calling voters’ cell phones; the firm only calls landlines. It discards hundreds of respondents in an unusual process known as “random deletion.” And because PPP’s interviewers rely on lists of registered voters—rather than random digit dialing—and simply ask non-voters to hang up the phone, the firm can’t use census numbers to weight their sample, as many other pollsters do.

PPP is a nationally-known name in political circles. Why is this powerhouse North Carolina firm interested in a school board race in Gilbert, Arizona? Why would the president of PPP donate exactly $2,500.00, the exact cost of the poll the PAC commissioned? Why was the poll conducted in May, 2014 – but the convenient donation did not occur until a week after the PAC paid for the poll? It’s a mystery!

PPP has released polls on many races where Debnam has contributed to one of the candidates or relevant party committees, most notably those 2008 races involving Kay Hagan. The donations were not disclosed when the polls were released… Many pollsters work for partisan clients, and Debnam and his staff are free to donate to any candidates they like. But not disclosing that one candidate is a recent client is problematic.

Maybe something isn’t quite right with this poll beyond the secrecy of methodology and analysis:

Public Policy Polling is avowedly pro-Democratic; it also prizes its reputation for reliability. Can it continue to juggle these two balls?

It doesn’t appear that PPP’s poll is going to carry any weight in Gilbert, Arizona. Part of the idea was to establish a narrative that 97% of the electorate is mad as hell at the GPS board and they’re going to take it back on election day. Someone had better tell the poll workers! Until the PAC and PPP release the actual questions, the raw data, and their calculations on the estimates, we’ll continue to laugh. So will the fired up conservative voters in GPS boundaries.

This poll that cost $2,500.00 says 97% “indicated they are certain to vote” is so ridiculous that we can’t believe the PAC even published that number. Here’s more idiocy: the PAC’s claim that the poll was *donated* in the first place. That nonsense probably would interest folks who keep Arizona elections clean … or at least, they try to keep them clean.

The survey was donated to the Unite for Education campaign of Rebuild Our Gilbert Board, a non-profit political action committee that is supporting the candidacy of incumbent Jill Humpherys, a board member in her second year and Dr. J. Charles Santa Cruz, a retired educator and administrator who spent 31 years at GPS. Two seats are up for election in the November 4, 2014 general election.

Take Back our Gilbert Board, and give it to candidates who will trust the experts and rubberstamp every expenditure and demand for more, more and more tax dollars. It’s for the kids! [Gag. You all know this is sarcasm, right?]

$2,500.00? Sheeesh.

Zero Based Budget: Intentional Misdirection and Chaos

While teachers and parents are struggling to live within their means and the 2014-2015 budget for Gilbert Public Schools, some of the recent revelations about the budget and expenditures certainly raise eyebrows and provoke questions about GPS priorities.

We’ve heard that some schools lack soap in the restrooms. Teachers have been bringing bars of soap for restrooms [least expensive fix], in addition to asking parents for many bottles of hand sanitizer for the classroom. Where are all these parent-contributions of supplies stored in classrooms jam-packed with bigger classes this year? What in the world is going on in GPS?

Don’t forget about all the reams of paper that have been demanded from parents. Some candidates for school board seats endorsed the demands for reams of paper … like it’s a good thing. What a way to run a school district! We noticed that although Christina Kishimoto was asked to report to the board with more information about Accelerated Reader being cut from the budget, the topic wasn’t broached at the next board meeting. Delay, delay, ignore, ignore. Everything old is new again in Gilbert Public Schools. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

There’s a certain segment of the community that says all the money woes are the fault of the board, and they really, really hope busy parents will believe this meme. Folks who understand the operations of a school district know the board approves a budget and the superintendent decides how the money will be spent.

In the case of the vaunted Zero Based Budget, what actually happened was the superintendent gathered recommendations from various committees, and then made changes to suit her preferences for spending this year. We haven’t found where any of the recent superintendents or their minions reported to the board exactly how the GPS operating budget would be spent, although that was supposed to be step 3 in the ZBB process. The complaints about the budget are increasing; community members who worked through the process are none too pleased that committee recommendations were ignored in many cases. Remember, the dudes who led the ZBB process had no skin in the game … none of them are employed in GPS, and few other staffers remain. Yeah, we know they’re smirking.

Here’s a MAJOR complaint: the budget summary shows 98 administrators,  an increase from 75 administrators last year, for a total increase of 23 administrators. Thank you, birdies!

 

The board approved the overall budget, but apparently, final recommendations and essential details were never communicated … to the board or to the community. Some of the famous “ZBB binders” to which the nattering nabobs of negativism refer are online. However, whoever posted the notebooks doesn’t know if they’re the most recent versions from the ZBB committees. Who knows what the board was given to approve at the last possible moment.

If you comb through the binders and other documents, you find some asterisks showing that the superintendent changed some allocations. It’s smoke and mirrors time again! The ZBB binders show that Administrative Services was recommended to be funded at Level 3, but there’s one of those asterisks beside the number, which jumped to Level 8  and $484,334.00. This was 102% of the previous funding, including $5,000.00 for professional development, $5,000.00 for student travel, $10,000.00 increase in Services and Supplies (for a total of $121,878.00) and $19,000.00 for rentals. The only thing that’s really clear about all this is that Admin Services got a bigger budget than before.

On the other hand, Safety and Security was recommended to be funded at Level 5, but there’s an asterisk there. Sure enough, funding was cut to Level 2, 85% of the previous budget, which cut Night Security and Dispatch, Campus Security and Crossing Guards, along with cutting stipends, pay for additional work and services and supplies. What could possibly go wrong?

Vandalism at Gilbert High School is what went wrong … in a hurry. With night security cut, it didn’t take long. Estimates for repairs to GHS range from manageable to extraordinary, according to our birdies. Penny-wise and pound-foolish, right? What could possibly go wrong with cutting crossing guards, Dr. K?

Here’s how the smoke and mirrors works in determining the amount of dollars spent *in the classroom* as opposed to administrative costs.   Most people think the administrative services include the administrators, but that’s just not true. The superintendents, directors, coordinators, principals of all descriptions are considered *in the classroom* expenses, according to the linked document. Positions listed as 2100 and 2200 are considered *classroom.* Administrative positions are support staff. Most lay people (non-educrats) would consider most of employees under student support services as administration. In GPS, where’s there’s smoke, there’s a mirror nearby, we’ve discovered.

Remember during the run-up to the vote on the override in 2013 that statements were made (and continue to be asserted to this day) that GPS has a low administration percentage? Presentations included statements that “all of district offices” were included in the dollar amount and eliminating “all” positions would not add up to the amount necessary to recoup lost money.

Check out the linked presentation at the 29:45 mark to learn about Administrative Costs according to the Auditor General’s report.  Funny how the presentation blurs the lines between instruction and what most people would consider to be administration. $18 Million. Higher paid administrators $2.4 Million at the district level. $5.1 Million at school level. Bottom line: $9.9 Million for all administrators. Administrative services as a whole are $18 Million. GPS spent $496.00 per student on administration. You’re supposed to *trust* these numbers <snort>.

With so much hocus-pocus going on, it’s hard to figure out what the real budget numbers are. That’s one reason the Governing Board mandated Zero-Based Budgeting for the 2014-2015 school year. What actually happened was NOT ZBB. Are you surprised?

Zero-based budgeting requires the budget request be re-evaluated thoroughly, starting from the zero-base. This process is independent of whether the total budget or specific line items are increasing or decreasing.

Zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base” and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one.

ZBB allows top-level strategic goals to be implemented into the budgeting process by tying them to specific functional areas of the organization, where costs can be first grouped, then measured against previous results and current expectations.

The superintendents and staff hated the idea of ZBB and implemented something quite different. They wasted a lot of time creating those ZBB binders, which created levels based on historical expenditures. We haven’t found where anyone identified total resources and essential functions and married them for efficiency.  Some of the people assigned to the committees were carefully selected to arrive at exactly what the superintendents wanted in the first place.

[Waving hi to Susan Keuter, who helped give Admin Services more money and to Diane Drazinski, who helped cut AR.]

Even with all the groundwork, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. That’s why the asterisks and adjustments were needed. That’s probably why the final ZBB binders are missing in action. Smoke and Mirrors. Again.

What Christina’s Coronation and Back to School Extravaganzas Cost

bigbucksCertain Gilbert Public Schools board members and officials are decrying budget cuts, even though there was $313,967,843 in the budget this year. Let’s look at some real numbers that the Powers That Be would prefer you didn’t see, probably because these numbers don’t fit their narrative of doom, gloom and austere budgets.

The $9,475.85 itemized expenses at the bottom of this post for food and non-food items appears to have been spent for Christina Kishimoto’s coronation festivities and Back-to-School lunches for unnamed employees. Don’t mention the man hour cost of having all teachers and Great White Temple of Doom admins attend the two coronations; they have to do what they’re told to do. Let them eat cake! Choreograph the dance! Boutonnieres and flowers! It’s for the kids!

Gilbert Public Schools really, really wants you to give more, more and more money for education. Somehow, we don’t think board member Jill Humpherys, who is campaigning for re-election, expected voters to find the numbers we show you today. Unfortunately for Jill, those expenses prove it’s not all about the kids. It never was. Whether this scheme is legal or not is above our pay grades; it’s certainly tone-deaf and bone-headed, especially just before an election.

GPS expenditures in August 2014 tell the public a lot about new Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s priorities and her lavish spending. Beyond the fact that Accelerated Reader has been cut and parents are inundated with demands to supply classrooms with necessities that GPS ought to be funding, we see Dr. K has fallen in love with a loophole that let her fund her coronation  academic convocation when teachers returned for the new school year. This loophole has been around for a couple of years, but we’ve not seen anything like what happened this year.

About the loophole: GPS was told the district could not pay for meals and refreshments out of public money, so GPS admins put a cute little phrase in employee contracts that says the district can provide food to employees if it wants to. Never mind that employees would prefer to be paid professional wages, GPS in paternalistic wisdom decided to do otherwise. Now we’re seeing the results of this cute little trick, and it’s not centered on students, or learning or the business of education.

The expenditures below come from one Green Bar Report, Vouchers 5008-5020, which the superintendent or her staff sent to the Governing Board for ratification. That means, “Board, you need to approve these payments, because we already spent the money.” That’s business as usual in GPS, keeping the board in the dark until it’s absolutely an emergency to approve something, and don’t ask any questions because there’s no time.

When you open the Excel file, click “Enable Content” and then plus up the individual lines. Many of the expenditures we’re talking about appear under Line 515 CIVIC CENTER.

We’ve heard GPS admins say they can do anything they want with civic center funds, but the truth is, all that money is public money and it can be spent only for public purposes, according to state law. To protect taxpayers, Arizona law strictly regulates the receipt, custody, control and expenditure of “public money,” which is defined by A.R.S. § 35-302: “The phrase “public money” as used in this article includes bonds and evidence of indebtedness, and money belonging to, received or held by, state, county, district, city or town officers in their official capacity.” Obviously, bread and circuses are *public purposes* now in GPS.

From Christina’s letter: “Our Academic Convocation will serve as a celebration of teaching excellence and an appreciation of our teaching staff as we begin the new school year. “ Do these expenditures fit the bill for *public purposes* or someone’s ego? Wouldn’t it be better to pay for classroom items that are desperately needed under austere budget conditions, like soap and paper? Sheesh.

Whatever the source, there’s no denying that public money funded refreshments and flowers for Dr. K’s coronation and “Back to School Lunches” for teachers and other employees. BTW: we thought it was really cheap to give a tip of what appears to be only $16.14 to Jason’s Deli for a $660.51 expenditure.  Don’t forget the $1,209.57 that GPS paid Joe’s Real BBQ for “Luncheon food for back to school” on the 5002-5005 voucher report.

JASONS DELI                   $935.49
BPO-STAFF WELCOME BACK LUNCH*1Bkt $558.94
BPO-STAFF MEETING BREAKFAST PASTRIES*1Bkt $376.55
BASHAS’ INC                   $335.84
TEACHERS & STAFF BREAKFAST*1EA $335.84
GPS FOOD SERVICE CATERING     $6.44
BPO-MISCELLANEOUS CATERING SERVICES*1Bkt $6.44
BPO-REIMBURSEMENT FOR FOOD FOR*1Bkt $44.50
REIMBURSEMENT FOR ITEMS FOR CATERING*1Bkt $152.01
REIMBURSEMENT FOR ITEMS NEEDED FOR*1Bkt $70.96
ROSE GARDEN FLORAL           $226.38
WHITE HYDRANGEA STEMS*70EA $226.38
SAMS CLUB                     $356.78
BPO-TREATS BREAKFAST & LUNCH ITEMS*1Bkt $256.78
NON FOOD ITEMS: PAPER PRODUCTS*1Bkt $100.00
JASONS DELI                   $660.51
TIP*1EA $16.14
BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH FOR 120 TEACHERS*120EA $644.37
COSTCO WHOLESALE #1028 $360.66
BPO-FOOD*1Bkt $340.67
NON FOOD:*1Bkt $19.99
FRYS FOOD STORES OF AZ INC $210.96
BPO-FOOD WATER & SODA*1Bkt $190.50
NON FOOD: PAPER PLATES & NAPKINS*1Bkt $20.46
SAMS CLUB $816.91
BPO-FOOD*1Bkt $93.20
NON FOOD:*1Bkt $52.41
MARBLE CAKE*1EA $17.89
FULL CAKES FACULTY/STAFF MEETING*2EA $83.19
BPO-REIMBURSEMENT FOR HERO & FOODS*1Bkt $154.71
BASHAS’ INC $729.22
BPO-FOOD*1Bkt $19.94
NON FOOD:*1Bkt $120.50
BPO-FOOD:*1Bkt $209.17
BPO-FOOD:COOKIES*1Bkt $379.61
SUBWAY $800.00
BPO-TEACHER LUNCHEON: 8 SUBS*1Bkt $800.00
JASONS DELI $235.08
BPO-BOX LUNCHES (PRICES VARY FROM 5.50*1Bkt $59.12
BPO-LUNCH FOR STUCCO WORKSHOP*1Bkt $81.60
BPO-LUNCH FOR SUMMER WORKSHOP*1Bkt $94.36
SERRANO’S $800.39
BPO-FOR FOOD & DRINK FOR WORKERS*1Bkt $800.39
FIREHOUSE SUBS – DANA PARK $306.79
BPO-FIREHOUSE SUBS CHIPS COOKIES ETC*1Bkt $306.79

 

Here’s another coronation expense: GPS Productions. PROGRAMS FOR AM & PM EVENTS *1200EA  $246.00.  All that paper and ink that didn’t make it to classrooms <snort>. The choreographer for the event cost $300.00.

We had a feeling those weren’t the only costs for Christina’s coronation and Back-to-School extravaganzas … more below from vouchers 5021-5030:

 

PARADISE BAKERY & CAFE INC   $359.81
BPO-WELCOME BACK STAFF BREAKFAST*1Bkt $359.81
DESERT BLOOM FLORAL           $327.06
BPO-36 BUTONNIERES*1Bkt $327.06
TAYLOR BROWN                 $400.00
BPO-GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER TO SET A 3:00*1Bkt $400.00

 

It appears that those highly-paid district administrators at the White Temple of Doom don’t have to buy copy paper, like teachers do for their classrooms (unless parents contribute reams of paper). Remember, we told you that GPS spent $22,357.29 at Costco in July 2014 for 8,400 reams of white copy paper [vouchers 4218-4226.] Here’s another purchase in August:

 

COSTCO WHOLESALE             $22,535.16
COPY PAPER WHITE 8.5X11*8400RMS $22,357.29
EXECUTIVE BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP*1EA $59.29
CYNTHIA ROSENBERG COMPANY CARD*1EA $118.58

 

One final note about this tone-deaf superintendency: birdies tell us that for the first time in memory, NO ONE from the administration attended the Transportation Kick-off Celebration. Did any admins bother to tell board members about that event?

Fall Break, October 2014

Enjoy Fall Break! When you return next week, everything will be as you left it.

[Keyboard: I want to go to Disneyland! Stomping the ground. *Terrible Two* temper tantrum]


What Gilbert Public Schools Doesn't Want You to Know
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