It was another disappointing evening at the GPS Governing Board meeting. The audience and the voting public could not sway the board majority to send the override question to the voters for a third time. They opted instead to unilaterally make the decision for over 30,000 students and families, 4,000 employees, and a community that requested that the voters, of the district, be given the opportunity to speak. All public comment, emails, letters, and petitions fell on deaf ears. Gilbert Public Schools will once again be faced with the prospects of reducing its budget by at least $ 7 million or more from an already tight budget. This ideological decision will have a devastating effect on our students and families, employees, programs, and facilities.
Gilbert Public Schools is now at risk of losing its competitive edge. This decision, handed to us by the board majority, will prevent GPS from remaining competitive in the Educational Market Place. We will not be able to provide our students with the world class education they deserve. We will not attract, recruit, or retain the best educators and support staff in the business. We will not see a reduction in class size, nor will we be able to support the curriculum adequately. We will begin to see a physical deterioration in district facilities, as well.
A 10 percent Maintenance and Operation Override would have placed the district on a “pathway” toward recovery. We have now also thrown away the opportunity to reduce the tax rate by 15 percent in each of the next five years, according to Mr. Gadd, a consultant, who presented the governing board with a viable option to our financial difficulties.
Committee to Elect Dr. J. Charles Santa Cruz