Gilbert Public Schools: Prospective Employees, You’ve Been Warned!

Cue the crocodile tears from Gilbert Public Schools again: with the passage of Proposition 123, the school district will receive new $$Millions from the state, all of which has already been budgeted and (perhaps) spent by a profligate superintendent and governing board. The state-wide vote was a cliffhanger, but the change to the Arizona Constitution squeaked through. It’s too soon to know just how many court challenges there will be, but the race to the courthouse has already begun. It appears that citizens who voted YES were almost equally as critical of the measure, but they held their noses and voted for it anyway. The word TRUST has been flung around by all sides, as in no one trusts the politicians or the educrats with this new largess, but … it’s for the kids

The crocodile tears will come in the next couple of GPS board meetings when the budget for next year must be approved. That’s because whatever amount of money taxpayers give to Gilbert Public Schools, it’s never enough. If you ask Superintendent Christina Kishimoto why, she won’t answer. She doesn’t talk to ordinary citizens or to parents. Of course, she has some huge messes on her hands, problems that she personally, professionally and institutionally created, so she doesn’t have time to assuage the public. She’s too busy spending all that money!

First up: GPS employment contracts. Crammed into new contracts is a clause that says GPS magnanimously will give employees a one-time $500.00 gift. Who thought that up, who they thought they were kidding and who believes this measly few bucks will earn gratitude, everlasting or otherwise? The answers don’t matter. Surrounding school districts are giving seriously generous and long-lasting pay raises to employees with money from Prop 123, and once again, GPS is sitting around with its thumb .. never mind. There was never a requirement in Prop 123 that the new money actually flowed into classrooms.

NOTICE TO GPS EMPLOYEES: if you want to break your contract, develop a health issue. If you present a medical certificate (i.e. a doctor’s note) to GPS and say you just can’t perform essential duties, GPS cannot and will not inquire further. We know that because Slime Bucket Suzanne Zentner said so during a board meeting a few months back. Also, it’s the law that GPS can’t pry into your medical history without a business reason for asking. We also know that Slime Bucket Suzanne and her BFF Christina Kishimoto make the decisions on who has to pay the infamous Hostage Ransom Payment that GPS built into employment contracts in the past couple of years, even though that is something reserved to the governing board’s discretion. The GPS governing board does what Christina Kishimoto says, so Her Highness doesn’t even bother consulting the board on the hostage clause.

Medical issues. Yours or those of your close family member (it’s best if that family member is covered by FMLA!) are your silver bullet against the GPS vampires and werewolves. BTW, other school districts in the Phoenix Valley have pretty much completed their hiring for the next school year, so don’t wait too long!

GPS, on the other hand, still has hundreds of vacancies and is getting desperate to lasso enough new employees to fill classrooms. If you’re considering GPS as an employer, ask yourself WHY entire departments on some campuses seem to have emptied. Particularly science and math. Also Special Education. There’s a reason for this, and as a prospective employee, you most definitely should look any GPS gift horse in the mouth. Just sayin’…. it’s your professional future ahead. And an incredibly stressful life. That’s “the GPS way” these days.

The *mass exodus* that Christina Kishimoto says she was supposed to stanch is recurring. GPS is desperately trying to keep under wraps the true size of the 2016 mass exodus — having word get out before the end of the school year would surely stymie new hiring. As of Friday, May 20, 2016, when the agenda with employee hiring reports was posted online, there were 75 certified resignations shown, plus 6 retirements. At the same time, the Online Certified Employment List showed 82 vacancies remaining, for a total of 163 certified vacancies, which doesn’t include earlier hires, of which there have been as many as GPS could hoodwink. The point is that GPS is taking pains to keep the real employment data hidden from public view. GPS used a real kabuki dance to hide losses of classified staff: GPS simply failed to upload the complete list; you can view page 1 of 4 pages, but not the entire list. What incredible silliness. Knowing GPS, Christina Kishimoto also wants to keep the governing board in the dark as to the actual numbers … er, dater  data.

Here’s some data that prospective GPS employees should be looking at: the mass exodus of certified employees in 2015, completely on Christina Kishimoto’s watch, was this:

1-5 years: 137 resignations in 2014-2015; 56.85%
6-10 years: 57 resignations in 2014-2015; 23.65%
More than 10 years: 47 resignations in 2014-2015; 19.50%

Note: that’s just resignations, it doesn’t include retirements. You’ve been warned. We’ll update this post when data becomes available as to the size of the 2016 mass exodus from Gilbert Public Schools.

Another *mass exodus* is occurring in GPS: STUDENTS!  GPS still doesn’t know why students are leaving the district by the thousands. The biggest losses are in the elementary grades. So what does GPS do under the *leadership* of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto? Spend $$Millions on “a new home for GCA,” a 7-12 grade facility, for the sole purpose of *competing* with charter schools. Just brilliant, right? <dripping sarcasm>  Specifically: since 2009/10, enrollment has declined by about 2,700 students (1.2% annually), with a loss of about 900 students this past year alone.

Hey, board members…the numbers you have been given suck, but it’s worse that you don’t know why those numbers suck. For one thing, losses on the east side of the district were most likely influenced by the new schools opening in the area, not all of which were charter schools. You know, there are other school districts like Higley, Queen Creek and Chandler. What GPS doesn’t want to accept is that those other school districts are enticing a lot of GPS students, just as the many nearby charter schools are doing.

Belatedly, GPS decided to pay for a phone survey to ask departing families why they left. As if people who already made the decision to leave are going to take the time to give GPS thoughtful answers that might reveal how screwed up the district has become. Nope. After people have left, they generally won’t feel like taking the time and effort to help GPS understand. That’s human nature. The problem for GPS seems to be that Christina Kishimoto and her minions in the White Castle haven’t been human in a long, long time. Their lack of common sense would be comical if the price were not so high, in terms of damage to a once-stellar school district.

Since Christina Kishimoto set an example of inappropriate behavior with her *alleged* boyfriend, who departed in disgrace in January 2016, Westie’s birdies are chirping that the Loose Zipper Brigade has been adding some new notches to their belts. We weren’t surprised to hear the name Brian Yee coupled to that news. [That dude must be phenomenal at something or other! But we digress.] Inquiring minds want to know (and many probably already know the answer) why Brian Yee’s assistant principal left in the middle of the school year. Same old stuff. In both *alleged* cases of inappropriate relationships in GPS in 2015-2016, the subordinate disappeared.

Prospective GPS employees, you’ve been warned … again.

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