Bond Election Approaches

Bond Election Approaches
GUHSD Budget Update

The Glendale Union High School District Budget Update page is designed to help inform the members of the GUHSD community about the budget cuts to education and how these state budget cuts affect our process.

Below are some documents we think you might find helpful:

**new** Maricopa County Publicity Pamphlet on GUHSD Bond Election
Bond Statement
History of Fiscal Responsibility with Bonds
Board Calls for Bond Election
Committee Reports to the Board
Answers to Questions from the Community
What's the Next Step?
School Presentation
GUHSD Budget PowerPoint Presentation
GUHSD Budget Fact Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

We will update these regularly with new relevant questions (Updated 2/11/11)

When and where can I see a budget presentation and learn more about the specific needs of GUHSD?

Date  Time  Location  Audience 
March 7, 2011
 
6:30 p.m.     Apollo High School Auditorium
8045 N 47th Ave, Glendale 
Apollo, Glendale and Independence communities
March 8, 2011
 
6:30 p.m.  Greenway High School Auditorium
3930 W Greenway Rd, Phoenix 
Cortez, Greenway and Moon Valley communities 
March 9, 2011  6:30 p.m.  Thunderbird High School Auditorium
1750 W Thunderbird Rd, Phoenix 
Sunnyslope, Thunderbird and Washington communities 

How much was district budget reduced during the 2008-2009 school year?

Like other Arizona school districts, Glendale Union was called upon mid-year in 2009 to reduce operating expenditures to make up for a state revenue shortfall. The district was forced to cut over $2 million in costs. This was accomplished through a hiring freeze, soft capital cuts and other program modifications.  

Did GUHSD have to make additional budget cuts during the 2009-2010 school year?

Yes. The district made significant reductions to its 2010 budget. After extensive meetings and processing with full faculty at all nine high schools, the district developed a budget reduction plan which led to the elimination of 74.4 positions. The following criteria was used when making cuts:

  • Make cuts as far from the classroom as possible
  • Preserve as many jobs as possible
  • Make cuts across the board – all groups will be affected
  • Cuts should be consistent from school to school
  • District Office should participate in budget reductions alongside schools

What other actions did the district take besides staffing changes?

Being faced with making decisions that challenged the district’s core value system, the district took the following actions:

  • Froze salaries at the 2009 salary schedule rates, giving no increases for longevity or inflation
  • Reduced all Maintenance and Operation budget supply lines by 20%
  • Eliminated Maintenance and Operation travel budgets
  • Cut memberships to professional organizations
  • Charged all employees $100 for their individual medical benefits
  • Froze all soft capital expenditures
  • Froze all non-emergency building renewal projects
  • Created and implemented a utility reduction program
  • Developed an internal substitute program to reduce sub costs to the district

I remember a temporary 1-cent per dollar increase in the state sales tax was approved by the voters. Because of this did the district still have to make additional budget cuts during the 2010-2011 school year?

Yes. Passing the sales tax avoided an additional $918 million in cuts to the state budget. While the cuts to the state budget would have resulted in severe losses to K-12 funding, its passage did not provide any additional funding to schools. In fact, to offset reductions made by the state and to offset benefit cost increases for state retirement and medical insurance, the district made an additional $4 million in program cuts to the 2011 school year budget.

 

Where were some of the reductions made for the 2010-2011 school year?
 
Soft capital reduction        $2,825,815 
Staffing decrease (10 positions)        $400,000 
Mandatory subbing  $282,000  
District office reorganization  $96,000
Elimination of school clinics  $17,828  
Elimination of Sweeps program  $233,000  
Elimination of tuition reimbursement          $180,000

I understand there are many different budgets. Did the district have to reduce other budgets?

Yes. The district has lost in excess of $35 million in building renewal funding as a result of state budget reductions. Since 2009, our schools have not had capital budgets to purchase textbooks, desks, chairs and other capital needs. The state’s building renewal funding has been suspended for the third year in a row, leaving only limited carry over funds to address school district building needs. According to the state formula developed in 1999, GUHSD should have received over $50 million in building renewal funds. We have only received $17,513,938, which was only 33% due to the district.

How do I know that GUHSD has been fiscally responsible with the money they have received from the state?

The Glendale Union High School District is subject to an external comprehensive annual audit of its financial statements. In fact the district has received recognition for Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting from both the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and through the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) for the past 18 years. These awards recognize the district for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The Auditor General also annually reviews the district classroom expenditure which are summarized in her document titled Annual Report on Classroom Expenditures. In her last report for the 2009 school year the Auditor General reports that Glendale Union has decreased their spending on administration while classroom spending has remained fairly constant. For more information on the report from the Auditor General, visit http://www.azauditor.gov/Reports/School_Districts/Districts/Glendale_UHSD/2010/Glendale_UHSD.pdf

I see the district has had to cut millions of dollars from their M & O budget since 2009. What is the total amount of the district’s M & O budget?

The district’s Maintenance and Operation budget for 2010-2011 is $92,661,579.

It seems the state has made tremendous cuts. Will further cuts be needed?

The Governor’s office has projected another $530 million shortfall in the current fiscal year. The state has already suspended funding for soft capital ($165 million), cut building renewal ($231 million), and charter school assistance ($10 million). Further cuts are pending legislative approval and may include loss of federal jobs funds and fiscal years delay of state aid entitlement to schools. For 2012, the shortfall is projected to be $975 million.

Are there additional issues facing GUHSD that I need to be aware of?

The current economic times are challenging the district and its convictions to small community-based schools and a comprehensive learning system built upon continuous improvement. The district is having to make cuts but has made every effort to protect classrooms and maintain an equitable comprehensive learning environment at all nine of its high schools. At the same time, the district must address its long term plan and commitment to its aging facilities. Recent, severe hail storms (October 2010) damaged both Thunderbird and Greenway campuses, expediting the district’s long term plan for rebuilding these facilities. Such an undertaking is not possible without local commitment to a bond program.

In December 2010, GUHSD’s Governing Board approved the formation of a Revenue Generating Committee. The committee, made up of parents, community members, principals, assistant principals, teachers, support staff employees and students, gathered in early February 2011 where the current state of GUHSD’s budget was shared. The committee was also given the charge to research and bring forth a recommendation to the board regarding the need to go for a district bond to address facility’s needs. As a part of their process, the committee will be conducting three community forums to gather input and study the facility needs of the district.

Please plan to attend upcoming budget presentation meetings and discussions regarding aging facilities and the plans for the future of both these facilities.

 

Date  Time  Location  Audience 
March 7, 2011
 
6:30 p.m.     Apollo High School Auditorium
8045 N 47th Ave, Glendale 
Apollo, Glendale and Independence communities
March 8, 2011
 
6:30 p.m.  Greenway High School Auditorium
3930 W Greenway Rd, Phoenix 
Cortez, Greenway and Moon Valley communities 
March 9, 2011  6:30 p.m.  Thunderbird High School Auditorium
1750 W Thunderbird Rd, Phoenix 
Sunnyslope, Thunderbird and Washington communities 

I want to help GUHSD. How can I get involved?

The district needs your involvement. First, attend one of the community meetings scheduled in March. Invite your neighbors about the meetings. Attendees do not have to have students enrolled in one of our schools. Everyone within the GUHSD communities are welcome. Second, join one of the district’s citizens committees: Citizens for Quality Education, Don DeBusk (602-418-3250) www.citizensforaqualityeducation.org and/or Support our Schools AZ, Doreen Zannis (602-686-5338) www.supportourschoolsaz.org. Third, show your elected officials that you care about the quality of our schools. Communicate with your legislators. As parents and as taxpayers, we need these officials to understand how much we value our school system. Visit http://www.supportourschoolsaz.org/pdf/legislators.pdf to find the current elected officials and their contact information that serve GUHSD. Lastly, but certainly not least, we need you to spread the word. Share all this information with your family, friends and neighbors, especially those who live within GUHSD boundaries.