March 30, 2015
Dear Greater Globe Community,
Globe Unified School District continues to press forward in its efforts to “Capture Hearts and Empower Minds”. There are many ways that the district is striving to live up to its vision statement. Chief among those strategies is the continuous implementation of our two major initiatives, the Beyond Textbook Curriculum system and the Capturing Kids’ Hearts school climate processes. We are almost two years into both programs and are seeing positive results. However, we know we must continue to prevail in implementing those philosophies with fidelity in spite of the continuing challenges of our state finances.
As we move forward in the spring of 2015 it seems that there are more questions, about how our state will fund schools, than answers. The one constant seems to be continued budget shortages. Our newly elected governor has maintained his intent to have a balanced budget without the support of additional new revenue. With this being the case, after all the dust settles, school districts will be expected to do more with less. School districts have been encouraged to focus the majority of their resources in the classroom, and here at GUSD we are working diligently toward that end. Over the past three years we have increased the percentage of our overall spending in instruction by about 2% of each dollar spent.
However, increased spending in the classroom is just part of the challenge. We know we must provide the other services so essential for student achievement. Transportation, food service, special education auxiliary services (speech pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.) and other supports, are every bit as necessary as classroom instruction. The legislature did not implement the governor’s initial budget requiring reduction in “non-classroom” expenditures. Even so, we all need to remember how important the services, such as I listed above, are to students’ success. It is incumbent upon all of us to keep the real costs of running our public schools in mind. One key factor, not mentioned above, is the cost of keeping older buildings heated and cooled, maintained, and serviceable as positive and safe educational environments for our young learners.
As we face the 2015-2016 school-year and the budget implementation details are worked out, I want to encourage all of our community citizens to consider the role that public education serves in making our community viable. By any applied metric, nationally, Arizona consistently ranks very low in its support of public education; whether it be funding per pupil, teacher pay, or academic achievement. As part of the greater Globe community, GUSD’s challenge is to figure out how to make the best use of the resources we have, while challenging our state leadership to consider how to provide a truly world class education for Arizona’s students.
Locally, I encourage you to get involved any time you can. GUSD always encourages adult volunteers to help guide our young people. Studies have shown that students academically prosper much more when they are mentored by an adult on a regular basis. We enthusiastically welcome that type of positive influence on our students. Please consider how you might help in making a difference in the future of your community and favorably impacting students’ lives. I look forward to hearing from you, if you can help. Have a great spring!
Jerry Jennex, Superintendent
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