Last November the voters of Gilbert School District resoundingly defeated the override. This year, the GPS board has voted to give raises, increase the primary property tax rate, and is now asking for another tax increase, at a taxpayer cost of $328,000.
The burden of proof for the override rests squarely with those who would raise our taxes, but they have not made a compelling case. They claim to have scoured the numbers, but have been unable to identify any areas of waste. Consider:
• Growth of per pupil spending in GPS has outpaced inflation over the last 11 years, even as the percentage of dollars spent in the classroom has decreased.
• Furthermore, while the GPS student population grew by 31 percent, non-classroom spending for “Instruction Support” increased 159 percent, and “Student Support” increased 218 percent!
The excess for Student Support alone accounts for the full amount of the override being requested. Why are we spending so much for activities that are expressly defined as “not education services”?
When government expands, freedom is lost. Government should live within it means, just like the rest of us. Few of us who work can demand a 6.6 percent pay raise, for the next seven years, because our current salary won’t quite cover our wish list. Rather than leaning on the public again for more taxes that will only continue to mask the problem, let’s eliminate the endemic waste in the system. Our schools, our kids, and our community will be stronger for it.