GPS Governing Board Meeting May 15: Raise the Primary Property Tax Rate? Put another Override on the November 2013 Ballot?

There is a Gilbert Public Schools Board meeting tonight, May 15, at 7:00 pm, to be held in the Governing Board Room, Building B, 140 S. Gilbert Road.   Here is the link to the Agenda

On the agenda are 4 items:

3.01      Approval of Options to be Considered for the 2013-2014 Budget. 

NOTE: Only Option C contains a $5.5 million deficit because it does not raise the Primary Property Tax Rate.   Can the District reduce expenses by $5.5 million in order to balance the budget?  Or will the board vote to raise The Primary Property Tax Rate?  The previous board raised it by 40% last year.  The current board has been advised that the defeat of the override in the 2012 election, plus declining home values, in addition to 10% of property owners unable to pay their taxes, has all created a budget crisis for GPS. 

See below how, for 10 years, the previous board and GPS District didn’t put money into the classroom even when they had override dollars, a 1-cent sales tax revenue, in addition to Prop 301 money.

3.02      Approval to Continue Tuition-Free Full Day Kindergarten for the 2013-2014 School Year.  

NOTE:  The District has had to bear 100% of the burden for All Day K since the State stopped funding 50%.   Militant teachers and parents are demanding that Gilbert property owners pay for their children’s All Day Kindergarten at 100%. 

One parent stated to the Governing Board at the May 7 meeting, “So….when my child becomes a menace to society because he didn’t get his proper foundation (full day Kindergarten), .. because he didn’t learn how to share, he didn’t learn how to problem solve on his own, he wasn’t able to conduct himself in (unintelligible), then it’s my fault, when in actuality it’s going to be YOUR fault."  ( LOUD APPLAUSE).    Video of May 7 board meeting, Part 1 of 3, begins at 01:55:50

 3.03.  Consider a Special Budget Override Election to be placed on the ballot for November 5, 2013.  

See Gilbert School Board to discuss Budget Override Election Wednesday.

3.04  Reconsideration of Approval of the 2013-2014 Pay for Performance Plan. 

Since Board Members Lily Tram and Jill Humpherys voted NO at the May 7 meeting to approve Teacher Performance pay, causing a tie vote, this is being brought up again.  At the May 7 meeting, Ms. Tram and Ms. Humpherys received a standing ovation from the same crowd that hissed and shouted down those with whom they disagreed.  Video of May 7 board meeting, Part 1 of 3, begins at 00:00

For the record, Gilbert Watch does NOT support a raise in the Primary Property Tax Rate and does NOT support another override. 

Additional Notes:

Some GPS Employees Choose the Wrong Path.      

"Here’s what they’re writing on Facebook… A support staffer at Highland High School is really, really angry that she hasn’t gotten her raise yet: 

I would like to personally thank all of the people within the Gilbert Public School district who voted in the three bafoons [sic] to the governing board of said district who don’t think Classified employees deserve a raise. Yes, I said bafoons!!!! I am hurt but more importantly I AM MAD!!!!!! When asked to her face if she thinks Classified employees deserve a raise, Staci Burk said, “No, I don’t”. Well, try running a district without Classified Employees…oh wait…..I think that’s exactly what they’re trying to do…get rid of the “help”. Well…good luck with that…’

"Comments in support of that illiterate screed include:

#  I think what you say.
#  Preach it girl!!!!
#  Is anyone working on recalling the “bafoons”?
#  I would support a recall!!! Lets do it!! I’ll help!”

Tax Defeats Were a No Confidence Vote.

"For 10 years, even with override dollars, extra Prop 301 money, and even a 1-cent temporary sales tax approved by the voters, the GPS District and previous Governing Board, did not put money toward the Classroom.  “For example, Prop 301 was passed by Arizona voters in 2000.  ALL of those tax dollars was supposed to be “dedicated to the classroom.”  According to the Arizona Auditor General, Gilbert put 63.4% toward the classroom BEFORE receiving $8,747,932 in Prop 301 moniesAfter GUSD received this money, they put 62.3% in the classroomBy FY2011, they put 59.9% in the classroom

"’As for Prop 204, AZ Treasurer Doug Ducey stated:  ‘Proposition 204 will NOT help teachers or students, but will instead continue to reward an education system that has increasingly spent less and less money in the classroom.’" 

 Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board Recall

 “Since January 2013, the new board has been very busy with things that make the usual suspects mad: giving raises to teachers, balancing the budget, scrutinizing contracts, and other such terrible things. The board directed the GPS administration to distribute every penny of the Prop 301 money to classroom teachers DURING this school year, which led to moans and groans about how hard that would be. Then the board also directed the admins not to divert a single penny of that money to another purpose. Why was this directive necessary?  Because the board has seen far too many examples of admins doing naughty things and not telling the board. Or slipping into the budget raises for themselves after they were explicitly told not to do that.”