Gilbert Public Schools: Weasel Words about your Tax Dollars

“Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals. Except the weasel.”  Homer Simpson


Remember the *secret* marketing plan that Gilbert Public Schools didn’t want to cough up as a public record? Someone at the White Castle must have reconsidered, because GPS had a coughing fit recently and spewed out a couple of the public records we requested. Here is the marketing plan. Warning: Keyboard says your head might hurt from banging it on your desk, or face palming in disbelief as you read. It’s really that silly of a *plan.* Sigh.

Let’s start with “Guiding Principles.” In a nutshell, GPS will show that students are the first priority, while showcasing accomplishments and outstanding programs as GPS communicates to the community what is happening in these public schools. Goals include providing stakeholders with information and ensuring that communication is a two-way street. All this will happen to “Brand GPS as the school of first choice for parents and a national leader in education” as shown on page 1 of the formerly secret plan.

Did we just pick up on a Freudian slip? We’ve heard about that “national” stuff in other venues, such as Dr. Christina 3-2* Kishimoto’s illicit (meaning an event with all the Governing Board members which was not noticed to the public, thus violating state law) State of the Schools speech before her new-found Town Council and Chamber of Commerce pals in February of this year. Local media covered the speech at the time. It was imminently forgettable, EXCEPT for that “national” thingy she talked about.

Aha – now we know what Good Old 3-2 Christina Kishimoto is really planning. She is going to use Gilbert Public Schools as her vehicle for creating a national reputation for herself. Silly rabbit, all she needs to know is what Google has to say about her national reputation. Bottom line: it ain’t pretty.

It’s surprising that Christina 3-2 Kishimoto thinks the nation is going to laud her dismantling of an A-rated public school district as she pursues amorphous *reforms* she is keeping secret from the Gilbert community. Apparently, Christina 3-2 Kishimoto has two sets of plans. One is a lavish spending spree that will commence immediately should voters agree to the tax override and a bond issue for the district. The other is the draconian retribution she will unveil should voters tell her “No more money” in November’s special election that is costing something like seven teachers’ salaries. There is nothing new under the sun in GPS. <sigh>

Some members of the Governing Board have rubber stamps shoved way up their darkest recesses as they parrot Christina 3-2 Kishimoto’s refusal to assure employees that salary equity is a top priority should the override and bond be approved. Look at Jill Humpherys, who still is running for a seat on the board, because that must have been the highlight of her life back when people applauded just because she showed up. Here are her weasel words as she attempts to assure GPS employees:

Jill Humpherys for Gilbert School Board: The entire board-superintendent team is committed to competitive salaries for teachers and staff. I have heard board members and the superintendent all agree from the dais. We do have to also consider curriculum, programs, and other essentials as well. To prioritize salaries, other areas that have been cut will need to continue at the current level. (July 1, 2015)

Notice that no one in the Halls of Power is talking about students being the top priority. No sirrreee, they just say “More money!” GPS put out some “Facts Concerning” the override and bond … what an embarrassment! Once again, students are more articulate than the highly paid Top Dogs in the district offices. Students also know about grammar and punctuation, which GPS Top Dogs have proven repeatedly to be beyond their capabilities. You can review those POS statements below.

The GPS Superintendent and Governing Board are using weasel words to avoid a true picture of what they will do if taxpayers give them more money. Here are some inconsistencies, somewhat akin to poker tells, revealing that taxpayers and GPS employees cannot trust their vaunted GPS leadership on those “Facts Concerning” statements:

No mention on students as the top priority for anything. “Remain competitive” followed by a bunch of things GPS will do to “ensure” college and career ready graduates, as if only high school matters.

GPS employees, this is the GPS BOHICA statement: “…offering wages that are competitive within the middle to upper third of comparable salaries.” That Gadd dude (is he gone yet?) already announced that’s exactly where GPS is already in comparison to other school districts, “middle to upper third.” If you believe you’ll get salary equity, you might as well expect a unicorn, as well.

“Continue to provide students with access to visual and performing arts, athletics … within a reasonable fee structure.” In other words, these resources will be cut if the override doesn’t pass and GPS will continue demanding exorbitant fees from parents for “extra curricular” activities.

Notice the first paragraph specifies funding “existing programs.” That’s another tell that cuts will be brutal to inflict maximum pain on parents as their kids are denied educational services that the community has come to expect.

Taxpayers, expect your taxes to go up next year whether or not the override passes. That’s because that Gadd dude manipulated the tax structure with the $3.6 Million that he refused to put toward employee raises. He was quite blatant about that. What he didn’t explain is the effect on taxes when GPS spends that $3.6 Million some time after November.

One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called ‘weasel words.’ When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked out of the egg. If you use a ‘weasel word’ after another there is nothing left of the other.” Theodore Roosevelt

GPS Facts about the 2015 Override Election and GPS  Facts about the 2015 Bond Election (click to enlarge):

Facts2015Override   Facts2015Bond

* Big Fat Asterisk:
Perhaps it’s old news to call the GPS Superintendent “Christina 7-0 Kishimoto,” which reflected the unanimous vote by the Hartford School District to send her packing (which is what led Kishimoto to Gilbert, Arizona). Christina Kishimoto was hired by a split vote of the GPS Governing Board; pretty much everything else Kishimoto has tried to push through has been on a 3-2 vote, as well. “Christina 3-2 Kishimoto” is more appropriate today. We all know that 3-2 votes swing both ways.

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