Can GUSD really increase staff and salaries?
GUSD has steadily made schools less of a priority, and the reserve saving the top priority. A few key indicators prove it.
First and foremost GUSD continues to be at or near the bottom in salary every year. Does the District give salary increases? Yes. The increases are similar to surrounding districts that receive less state funding, therefore there is no improvement in the ability to recruit new teachers or relocating veteran teachers. The district can easily afford to improve salaries as witnessed by the fact that the GUSD Reserve (savings account) increases my millions of dollars each year.
A 1% salary increase for ALL educators is ~$600,000. If the District used ONLY the money siphoned into the reserve savings the last three years, GUSD could have added 14% to the salary schedule making GUSD a destination district for educators! Instead the District savings account has ballooned to 10X more than the state requires.
To support increasing the reserve savings, the District projects doom for the fiscal future. For anyone who's followed Board meetings, even sporadically, it's a regular hand-wringing during each financial presentation. The TRUTH is that every year since 2015 GUSD has improved its reserve savings because of a "surprise" of money leftover in the general fund.
Make teachers a priority. Make students a priority. Fund the classroom, not the savings account.