Superintendent Christina Kishimoto Rams Her *Vision* Down GPS Throats

Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto isn’t listening to any of the voices urging the district to fix salary inequality first. Nah, that would involve actual WORK or something. It’s much easier to keep loyal employees where they are [downtrodden] with an across-the-board increase for ALL GPS employees, so that the newest hires [those at the top] rake in the most dollars. Say it all together: It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

We’ve seen other GPS administrations laugh in the faces of loyal employees, so this is nothing new.  So much for all you folks who expected respect and integrity from those bought-and-paid-for board members! Actually, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is also laughing in the face of any board member who challenges anything the superintendent has decided will be done. When Julie Smith proposed leaving an unfilled top administration position open … unfilled … Kishimoto unloaded; you can watch as she spits those proverbial nails while Board President Lily Tram nods in agreement:

We read the agenda for the March 31, 2015 meeting of the Governing Board. It’s not an easy slog, but it’s a roadmap showing just what the GPS board has been doing at those non-noticed get-togethers they’ve been having lately. Little things like the Arizona Open Meeting Law don’t mean a thing to the Connecticut Yankee now pulling the strings in Lily Tram’s court. Notice the use of the phrase “process.” That’s the dead give-away that what was planned in back rooms out of public view is now going to be voted on by the Governing Board. In other words, “It’s all over.”

Superintendent Christina Kishimoto believes an across-the-board pay increase will make GPS more competitive. Right…..Sheesh! Watch this *leader* describe her philosophy as she tells board members to “Stuff It!” after they dared suggest fixing salary inequity before considering across-the-board raises. Watch Lily Tram nod in agreement … to keep herself from falling asleep, it seems:

Here are the salary increase numbers from the agenda; this is just the beginning of the atrocities that will be enacted by Gilbert Public Schools in the name of *putting the needs of students first.*

The District Budget Planning process has reserved the annual state provided inflation factor for salary and benefit increases.  The inflation factor of 1.6% (approximately $2.5M) is distributed to all staff as follows:

Administrative: $145,362
Certified:  $1,779,205
Support: $541,288
Total: $2,465,855

Keep in mind that any extra budget funds, especially if used first for select support staffers, would go a long way in fixing the inequality of pay for loyal employees whose salaries have been frozen for years. The number of administrative employees, while too large for the size of the school district, is small compared to the number of support staff employees. The top dogs in GPS have been with the district for less than a year, and they’re getting a lot more in their paychecks than ANY other district employees.

You all remember that Superintendent Christina Kishimoto will get her 2% raise no matter what … it’s in her contract. Fixing the salary inequity just isn’t a pressing concern to Kishimoto, especially since all those loyal employees have been working for five years with their pay frozen. Except for new hires, who are paid at much higher rates in order to “attract the best.” And selected bus drivers and their trainers who are paid more money than loyal bus drivers. And, of course, all those new administrative employees who are paid handsomely AND have $7,000.00 extra in their pockets because GPS pays for healthcare for them and their families.  And automobile allowances. And extra days off. And more, more and more. It’s good to be at the top: Administrative Salary Schedule 2015-2016

We suspect some GPS employees got raises in January when the State of Arizona raised the minimum wage to $8.05. That means if those employees work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year (including the breaks when GPS is closed for business) their full-time income comes to $16,744.00. We all know that GPS configures many support staff jobs so they aren’t full time. It’s a feature, not a bug. The highly-paid dudes and dudettes in Human Resources make sure to keep those hours low, to avoid paying for healthcare for one reason. Here’s the classified staff pay scale showing just how poorly paid the GPS support staff is: Support Staff Salary Schedule 2015-2016.

Listen to Good Old Board Member Jill Humpherys when she fails to filter her mental dialogue as she compares the school district’s pay scale for classified staff to Walmart. Jill Humpherys seems to have discovered that some district employees work for less than Walmart’s recently raised minimum wage of $10.00 an hour. OMG – Walmart might start competing with GPS for the lowest-paid positions!

Jill Humpherys solves the problem by saying, “We want to keep the best. We don’t want some idiot being in our classified staff and doing the job; I mean, let them go to work for Walmart.” Watch Board Member Charlie Santa Cruz’s face as Jill Humpherys speaks – priceless!

To complete the triumvirate of pay scales, here’s the Certified Salary Schedule 2015-2016. We salute you teachers who spoke the truth to power about that Stepless Salary Schedule. You succeeded in getting that can kicked down the road for at least another year. Not that the pay scale will become any fairer, the top dogs just will *incentivize* you folks to be the ones who leave the district next year. If you don’t believe us, look at what Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is doing to Coach Rutt.

We’ve been wondering if Superintendent Kishimoto would ever be able to ditch her training wheels and act like a real superintendent. It doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon. Instead, the wheels are coming off the GPS bus on Kishimoto’s watch and all the inhabitants of the GPS echo chamber won’t be able to stop staring in fascination. How do we know this? Well, we see that Christina Kishimoto really is as illiterate as her writings have shown. Document showing Kishimoto flunked apostrophes and asterisks is here.  Document showing Kishimoto makes words plural by adding an apostrophe plus an “s” is here.

Here’s the illiterate Legal Fees Memo from Superintendent Christina Kishimoto to the Governing Board. The referenced memo incorrectly gives legal “advise” costs to GPS over the past six months or so. Hahahahaha … We have to laugh all the more because it’s about a matter that GPS spent tax dollars unnecessarily to have someone tell us we couldn’t have that information about GPS legal fees.  Christina Kishimoto wouldn’t know real legal ADVICE (as opposed to legal advise in the memo) if it bit her in the asterisk!

Sigh, you could have elected Westie as Superintendent. One parent has already connected the dots:

It’s time for all of us to send a BIG, LOUD message to the Board. We want THEM to take charge of our district!! THEY make decisions, Dr. Kishimoto carries them out. We want our Board to ask questions and demand answers BEFORE they vote for another of Dr. Kishimoto’s proposals or her budget. (We don’t appreciate having magnet schools and Chrome Books forced on us, especially by a politician-turned-educator who has never taught a day in her life.) We want our Board, who we VOTED for, to determine what’s best for our district. We want our Board to stand up for us!

Our Board has a chance to do exactly that next Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dr. Kishimoto’s budget proposal includes a 1.6% across the board pay increase for all staff. The community does not want pay raises for new people who were hired in at higher salary levels than our long-term, dedicated staff. We also do not want another raise for the tech people who just received a large pay increase because their salaries “weren’t competitive with other districts,” according to Dr. Kishimoto. (Hello!! And our teacher salaries are?!? Why were techies a higher priority?) We expect our Board to reward the long-term staff members who have stayed through years of turmoil and pay freezes! They are the ones who made Gilbert Public Schools a once-great district and WE WANT THEM TO STAY!

(P.S. I don’t work for GPS. I will not financially benefit from staff pay raises in any way. I am a parent who is sick of seeing our experienced staff leave our district!)

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