Tonight, Shane Stapley Resigned from the Gilbert Public School Board

Shane Stapley, conservative voice on the GPS board, and his family found it necessary to move out of the district. It could have something to do with our country’s continuing economic downturn, but I don’t know. Musing over their personal life decisions is not the subject of this post.

I admire Shane and thank him for his efforts to raise the standards bar, and for doing all he could to bring accountability and transparency to the GPS District.

It was Shane who introduced the idea of forming a Community Budget Committee (CBC), similar to the Town of Gilbert’s Citizen Budget Committee. We have yet to hear from GPS Administration about the recommendations of those 40 citizen members of the CBC.

Some people have criticized Shane for a couple of his non-conservative votes, especially when he voted to increase the property tax rate. I cringed too.

However, as a board member, he started doing something unheard of: He asked questions of the bureaucracy.

“Why”? “How”? “Who”?

He and Staci Burk are the only Governing Board members to question the bureaucracy about anything.

Doesn’t that seem odd to you? It does to me. Isn’t that the purpose of a Board?

Because they asked questions, the other board members retaliated. One retaliation was Lily Tram’s “Tram’s Rule,” which stopped Shane’s many requests for “Future Items of Consideration.” (See Gilbert Watch post Tram’s Rule: It’s Legal. Is it Smart? and Tram’s Rule Brings Ridicule.

Shane Stapley wants what all of us want: the best possible education for our Gilbert children. Are they getting it? If not, why not? What’s standing in the way? These are questions that Shane Stapley and Staci Burk ask, repeatedly.

How are the tax dollars being spent? What happened to the 10% override? What about the tax increase that was supposed to go directly to students and the classroom (Prop 301)? What about Prop 100, another tax increase?

Has GPS learned how to talk support for teachers and students, all the while ensuring the care and feeding of the bureaucracy?

GPS is blessed with excellent teachers and volunteers. They struggle together to provide the best possible education for every student, K-12, in the Gilbert Public School District.

They support every tax increase, hoping that a pittance will make it to the classrooms. It shouldn’t be that way.

Shane Stapley didn’t want to be somebody. He wanted to do something. Shane Stapley wanted to do what was right for the children of Gilbert. He wanted them to get a good education.

And for his valiant efforts, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.