Gilbert Public Schools Will Vote on a New Budget with NO Public Comment Allowed

Has Gilbert Public Schools become an alien life form that devours tax dollars as it spits out the ragged entrails of former employees? Many people say the answer is “Yes,” now that the GPS board has scheduled a surprise *special meeting* on June 14, 2016 to approve a new budget. This is a budget that citizens and taxpayers have begged various members of the governing board to oppose.  Those kindly people thought that their heartfelt pleas and well-researched suggestions for a better budget would meet a receptive audience. Those trusting souls were wrong, more wrong than they could have imagined.

After Arizona citizens approved a new source of money for public schools in the guise of Proposition 123 funds, GPS, and especially the shrew known as Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, have turned their backs on the very same folks who installed a Rubber Stamp School Board to serve the despicable demands of *more money* from the administration of carpetbaggers and scalawags conjured up by the shrew. What was a once proud, highly rated school district is a shambles, and it’s about to get worse. 

The *special meeting* on Tuesday, June 14th, is confusing even to the shrewish superintendent and her lackeys. First they call it a *special meeting* and then they annotate the agenda with an item for *Adjournment of Public Hearing.* That confusion is par for the course of GPS these days, where the right hand seldom knows what the left hand is doing. Actually, the right hand probably is unaware of the existence of the left hand, and it’s doubtful either knows about the opposable thumb and its remarkable powers …. sheeeesh, those folks are proving daily that they’re either dumber than dirt or they’re totally disengaged from the community that put them in their positions of power and six-figure paychecks.

The significant item those rogues (both the Superintendent, Governing Board and their enablers) left off the agenda was allowing public comment. The voters who placed the Terrible Trio of Tram, Humpherys and Santa Cruz on the board are hopping mad to be treated this way! Those voters believed the campaign promises of openness and inclusion in governance, valuing and rewarding loyal employees.

The ire of the community has been raised by the plans of Christina Kishimoto and Her Three Votes to squander millions of dollars on *innovations* that no one wants, needs or even likes. Proposition 123 was sold to voters as putting money into teacher salaries and into classrooms. Ha! Like Christina Kishimoto and GPS ever intended for THAT to happen!

Now, we see in the proposed budget that will be passed what actually will happen. It ain’t salaries and bonuses for the people on the front lines of education. Here are some excerpts from the fancy Powerpoint presentation that’s supposed to confuse the hell out of the proletariat, the common citizen so that Christina Kishimoto can dispense millions of dollars to her favorite contractors and consultants:

** FY17 Budget Increase from FY16 Expenditure Projection: $20,789,625.
** Our District’s portion of the $50 million in additional funding from Prop 123 is estimated to be $1.68 million, which will be carried forward to FY17 in the Capital (610) Fund.
** $3,000,000 of the budget balance carry-forward is designed for the one-time staff stipends of $500 per Full Time Employee.
** $5 per day increase in Substitute Teacher Compensation.

An expenditure that’s truly absurd is $100,000 for a *Communications Department Marketing Plan.* Putting THAT item on the budget has generated more calls for firing Superintendent Christina Kishimoto from people who formerly supported Her Three Votes on the board.  GPS is losing students by the thousands and can’t figure out WHY families leave the district. Obviously, GPS is not capable of figuring out how to talk to the people who depart the district with a middle-finger salute, so the answer is to spend $100,000 on a plan to market …. what? Gilbert Classical Academy? Sheeeesh.

Then there’s a slew of new folks slated to be housed in offices of the White Castle, the GPS district offices, when the new budget gets approved:

** Teacher on Special Assignment – Instructional Videographer $55,000
** Teacher on Special Assignment – K-6 Math Coach $55,000
** Teacher on Special Assignment – K-12 Assessment $55,000
** Technology Repair Position $39,000
** Programmer to support ATI and District Data Reports $70,000
** Transition to Office of Community Partnerships $40,000
** Risk Management Coordination (begin mid-year)  $40,000

In the meantime, Reed Carr, a candidate for a seat on the GPS Governing Board, has done some research that shows the public exactly how bad it is for GPS employees: 

Based on my conversations and analysis, teachers indicate they are leaving because of greater opportunities elsewhere. While those greater opportunities have existed previously and many chose to stay because of their history with and love of GPS, teachers have reached the point where our GPS culture no longer outweighs the draw of greater compensation.

…In each case when we compare GPS’ planned compensation to our closest neighbors, the proposed budget results in our teacher compensation falling further behind. Since 2009 GPS has fallen compared to our entire state. In 2009, the state auditor reports our average teacher salary was $47,866 compared to the state average of $45,209. By 2015 (again, the most recent year available), GPS’s salary is only $42,357 compared to the state average of $46,008. Dishearteningly, even with the 2017 raise and one-time payment [of $500], our teachers will remain below the state’s 2015 average.


Watch how members of the GPS Governing Board vote on this proposed budget put forward by increasingly reviled Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. Remember, you could have had Westie as superintendent!

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