Election Season in Gilbert, Arizona: for Gilbert Public Schools, the utter stupidity of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s attempts to affect the outcome of the election are surpassed only by the sheer brazenness of GPS Board President Lily Tram’s claims to have lifted GPS out of the gutter during her years on the GPS Governing Board. As you can guess, Tram’s boasts are so ridiculous, citizens have mightily trashed those claims.
Let’s get this show on the road: Thirteen Reasons to Reject Lily Tram’s Candidacy! Once again, this is one of those posts that wrote itself … so take it away, Exalted Voter:
Reasons why I WILL NOT be supporting Lily Tram:
1. Because Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is actively involved in Lily Tram’s campaign, which in a huge conflict of interest.
2. Because Lily Tram has become buddies with Christina Kishimoto and her loyalties have switched to her BFF and not our students, staff, or district.
3. Because Lily Tram fully supports Christina Kishimoto’s Strategic Plan and I think it’s destroying our once-great district.
4. Because I think our staff deserves more … like Prop 123 funds … and Lily Tram thinks they’ve gotten enough.
5. Because I don’t think that Christina Kishimoto should have been permitted to write her own contract extension a year before it expired, giving herself not just an extension, but a raise, and Lily Tram supported her and voted for it.
6. Because having Christina Kishimoto and Lily Tram control the board meeting agendas means that we’ve had things like public comment on the budget put off until the day before the budget was due to the state (just one example of many).
7. Because community schools are what made GPS great and our kids used to get the same education regardless of the demographic of our neighborhood. But Lily Tram and Christina Kishimoto think we need to replace our community schools with magnet schools.
8. Because programs have been cut and class sizes increased due to hard financial times, but Lily Tram and Christina Kishimoto show no indication of restoring programs or reducing class sizes now that more money is available.
9. Because Lily Tram supports spending more money on Chromebooks and less money on teachers, which means our kids are getting more entry level teachers and more screen time.
10. Because we have massive incompetence in several areas of district administration and Lily Tram doesn’t seem interested in holding Christina Kishimoto accountable for those staffing decisions.
11. Because Lily Tram claims that one of her campaign priorities is to address boundaries, but she’s following Christina Kishomoto’s lead to implement magnet schools first and address boundaries after enrollment has “stabilized.”
12. Because it’s common knowledge that Lily Tram knew about Christina Kishimoto’s *alleged* inappropriate relationship with a district employee and helped to cover it up for months. Again, friendship coming before Lily Tram’s responsibilities to this district.
13. Because Lily Tram doesn’t return emails to concerned constituents.
I’m just getting started. I could go on forever! I will NOT be voting for Lily Tram.
Westie performed an autopsy on the GPS 2015 all-mail election that Lily Tram thinks she won single-handedly:
We’ve already discussed how the Superintendent’s leadership has contributed to the dysfunction of the Governing Board and its disconnect with a large swath of the Gilbert community. Now we have the 2015 divide and it is uglier than before, especially since the statewide school funding lawsuit has been settled. No matter: the usual suspects are still complaining that schools STILL don’t have enough money.
Check out Reason #4 to Reject Lily Tram above: Funds from Proposition 123 have been a political football. At the September 27, 2016 GPS Governing Board meeting, there was an attempt to INCREASE the stipend amount paid to teacher. The facts at the moment included that teachers STILL hadn’t been paid the stipends that had been promised to them from Prop 123 monies. Other Arizona school districts had long ago distributed Prop 123 monies to their teachers; GPS appeared to be holding those funds back for an October surprise to boost Lily Tram’s candidacy.
At the board meeting, President Lily Tram must have been incensed that one of her archenemies, Board Member Julie Smith, proposed to add to the stipend and pay Prop 123 funds to teachers immediately. Why in the world did the Gruesome Twosome of Tram and Kishimoto place this item on the agenda? Ridiculous claims and nonsensical rationale issued forth:
Kishimoto made it VERY clear that she doesn’t think the staff needs ANY more money. For teachers who want to know exactly what she thinks, check out about 2:20:00 into the meeting. She said that the $11 million already given to staff was the “most aggressive adoption” under this board and that it puts them “on par or ahead of their peers in other districts.” Sorry staff, according to her, you don’t deserve anything more than what they already gave ya.
Parliamentary silliness ensued:
Agenda Item 7.03 – Discussion and possible action for teacher stipend enhancement. Mrs. Smith motioned to give the teachers an additional stipend. Seconded by Mr. Colvin. Mrs. Julie [sic] spoke about giving the teachers an additional $250. Each board member made a comment on this item.
Dr. Santa Cruz motioned to table the item to obtain additional information. Seconded by Mrs. Tram.
Final Resolution: Motion Fails
Aye: Mrs. Lily Tram, Dr. Charles Santa Cruz
Nay: Mrs. Julie Smith, Mr. Daryl Colvin, Mrs. Jill Humpherys
Original motion to give the teachers an additional stipend is on the table.
Final Resolution:Motion Fails
Aye: Mrs. Julie Smith, Mr. Daryl Colvin
Nay: Mrs. Jill Humpherys, Dr. Charles Santa Cruz, Mrs. Lily Tram
Someone with half a brain figured out that having Lily Tram on record AGAIN voting against more money for teachers was not very smart in the run-up to Election 2016, when Tram’s seat on the board was already in peril. But, as the comment from a citizen quoted above shows, the superintendent and the governing board were not about to use the Prop 123 monies as promised. What to do so citizens can’t snip perfidious comments and post videos on Youtube to be mocked by thousands upon thousands of voters?
Simple answer, and quite typical of the dysfunctional GPS leadership under President Lily Tram: DESTROY THE TAPES! And it appears that’e exactly what they did. Displaying their shriveled cojones for the wrong reason, GPS hid a message where people were not likely to find it.
Please Note: The Board Meeting video for September 27, 2016 was not properly saved and therefore was not archived. A backup file was also corrupted.
So there! Just try to find the 2:20:00 link to the video that the citizen had posted on social media!
Remember what happened to the Prop 123 money that taxpayers were assured would be used to increase teacher salaries? GPS found *other priorities* for more than half of that money:
Regarding Reason #12 above, you really have to wonder why Lily Tram enabled her BFF Christina Kishimoto in Kishimoto’s *alleged* inappropriate relationship with subordinate Charles Stevin Smith.
Keyboard: Maybe they let Lily watch.
Westie: Nothing else makes sense. But that’s how GPS rolls these days.
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