Dear Gilbert Schools Supporter,
Are you confused about the November 5, 2013 override election? Here are some facts you should consider before casting your vote.
The chart below shows data from the Arizona Auditor General’s Office. It clearly demonstrates that over the last 11 years (time period for which data is available) Gilbert Public Schools has increased its spending per pupil at a rate that far exceeds inflation. At the same time, the % of dollars spent in the classroom has declined. The bottom line is this: as the administration has collected and spent more and more money from increased property taxes, previous overrides, and Prop 100, they have not spent that money in the classroom – which includes teachers’ salaries! – where it matters most.
Until this administration demonstrates it can properly prioritize and spend the money it has, why would we give them more of our hard earned tax dollars?
More evidence of out of control spending within Gilbert Public Schools, outside of the classroom. Notice the growth in two of the major non-classroom spending categories compared to the growth in the number of students over the same time period. While the number of students grew by 31% between 2001 and 2012, Instruction Support spending grew by 159% and Student Support spending grew by 218%! The excess spending for Student Support alone accounts for the full amount of the override being requested! Why are we spending so much money for activities that are expressly defined as “not education services”?
The November 2012 override requested by Gilbert Public Schools district failed. The district stated that if the 2012 override failed, the following cuts may happen:
- Charging for all day kindergarten
- All day kindergarten has continued to be provided at no additional cost
- Increasing class sizes by one student
- Class sizes were reduced by one student starting the 2013 school year.
- Removing varsity coaches
- All varsity coach positions remain in the district
- Cancelling junior high sports programs
- All junior high programs continued to be offered to students
- Layoffs of 14 elementary school art teachers
- There have been no layoffs of teachers.
- The district hired additional teachers for the 2013-14 school year due to the lowering of class sizes
- Replacing registered nurses with health assistants
- Registered nurses continue to be employed by the district
- Cut 5th and 6th grade band
- There have been no cuts to the district music program
Statements being made by the district for the current proposed 6.6% override for the November 2013 election
Claim: “Total district administration costs are only $2.5 million dollars.”
View power point slide #16. Override-Chamber of Commerce
Fact: According to finances posted on the district website, administrative support services totaled $16 million last year. Go to PDF electronic page 77 or printed page 56 for the data. Click Here
Claim: “Per pupil funding for fiscal year 2012 was just above $5,800 per student.”
Go to power point slide #12. Override-Chamber of Commerce
Fact: According to finances posted on the district website, cost per pupil was $7,557. Go to PDF electronic page 162 or printed page 141 for the data. Click Here