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?


TRACKBACK |
Post Tags: , , , , , , ,

Browse Timeline



What Gilbert Public Schools Doesn't Want You to Know,
Westie Posts Online (You're Welcome!)