by Victor Petersen
Gilbert Town Council Member
Gilbert Public Schools Resident
While the issue before us is complex, I believe it boils down to one simple question: Are the voters getting the value for their school tax dollar that they should be?
Before the last time we voted against the override, we were told by those in favor there were no more efficiencies left to be realized. However, with our "no" vote, we saw not only a reduction in our taxes but also a reduction in class sizes.
The truth is there are opportunities for greater efficiency still left on the table. One example is zero based budgeting which the Town of Gilbert used to find over a million dollars of misallocated funds.
Furthermore, research has shown that while the national average spending per student has doubled or tripled, reading scores have remained flat for the same time period. In fact, the data seems to indicate no statistical correlation between spending and performance.
I think our school board deserves a big "thank you" for reducing our class size on a smaller budget. We are moving in the right direction. Let’s ask them to continue toward the higher performance we know is possible and we can all be proud of.