After seven years, Gilbert Public Schools has clean audit

Jackie Mattinen
Gilbert Public Schools Finance Director Jackie Mattinen reviews the district's audit for the governing board. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Gilbert Public Schools Finance Director Jackie Mattinen reviews the district's audit for the governing board. (Screen capture from YouTube)

The annual audit of Gilbert Public Schools’ finances for fiscal year 2019-20 came back “clean,” or unmodified, the first such audit the district has received without any findings against it in seven years, officials said.

Finance Director Jackie Mattinen presented the information April 27 to the district’s governing board, which praised the years-long work the finance team had done to dig out from previous findings of material weaknesses or significant deficiencies that started before the current team arrived at the district.

“It’s heartening to hear we have reached a point where our head is above water, way above water,” Board President Charles Santa Cruz said.

Mattinen also told the board that classroom spending made up 74.5% of the district’s spending, according to the state auditor general report. That includes 61.6% on instruction, 9.2% on student support and 3.7% on instruction support.

The percentages and dollars going into the classroom are the largest they have been since 2015, Mattinen said.


In addition, when compared with neighboring districts Chandler USD, Higley USD, Mesa Public Schools, Queen Creek USD and Scottsdale USD, GPS has the second highest percentage on instruction behind Higley and the highest percentage spent in the classroom. Its percentage spent on administration, 8.2%, is the second lowest among those districts behind Mesa, according to Mattinen’s presentation.

Other items

  • The board unanimously approved a clarification and confirmation that its March 30 approval of the reduction in force of 152 certified staff members for next school year also represented an approval of the rubric that was used to identify the employees laid off. Santa Cruz said some people had questioned whether the board approved the rubric and whether it was in line with district policy.

  • The board unanimously approved an amendment to its graduation policy that allows members of Native American tribes to wear traditional tribal regalia or items of cultural significance at graduation ceremonies, including eagle feathers or plumes. The action aligns the policy with new state law, Superintendent Shane McCord said.

  • The district anticipates it will receive up to $20 million in the third round of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER, funding, Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Betz said during the monthly financial report. However, Betz said the district will not know its allocation for sure until late May.

By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.



MOST RECENT

Western Canal
Town narrows Western Canal pipeline solutions to 4

Some residents said after the Nov. 15 meeting they believe the town will just decide to use its original preferred solution of using eminent domain to claim the town’s easements on their property,

Casino rendering
New casino near Gilbert should bring jobs to area

A new 160-acre, $150 million casino is expected to open a couple miles west of Gilbert town limits within the next two years.

Jennifer Gallego, Tap Dragon Craft Beer & Wine Bar interiror
Tap Dragon Craft Beer & Wine Bar opens in Gilbert

Tap Dragon offers local craft beers and a rotating wine list, meads and ciders.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Jim Torgeson, who owns a Mesa sign-making business, filed the suit in Maricopa County Superior Court, naming the Town of Gilbert and each member of the town council in their capacity as a council member. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
Sign maker seeks annulment of Gilbert bond election in lawsuit

A Gilbert resident and critic of the town’s $515 million streets, transportation and infrastructure bond filed suit Nov. 22, alleging his free speech rights were violated and asking the election results be annulled.

Now open
Three businesses that have opened in Gilbert

Here are three businesses that have opened recently in Gilbert.

Nursing data
Gilbert’s hospitals grapple with nursing shortage

The hospital systems serving Gilbert—as with Arizona and the remainder of the nation—say they are battling the effects of a nursing shortage exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Gilbert police officers
Police officers recognized at Gilbert Community Excellence Awards

A group of police officers who assisted in stopping a felony suspect’s attempted escape received the Tim Dorn Public Safety Award on Nov. 18 at the 25th annual Gilbert Community Excellence Awards.

Santan Mountain Casino is set to open in the next 24-26 months just outside of Chandler. (Courtesy Steelman Partners)
New casino to open near Chandler; median home prices up more than 25% across Gilbert in Sept. and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Chandler and Gilbert areas.

Gilbert Days will bring a series of road restrictions and closures to town Nov. 20. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gilbert Days Parade, races to bring street closures Nov. 20

The annual Gilbert Days Parade, and Gilbert Half Marathon and 10K will take place Nov. 20, resulting in road restrictions and closures throughout Gilbert.

Caldwell County Mexi-Q dishes
Caldwell County Mexi-Q opens, replaces Clay Dawgs in Gilbert

The restaurant is a new concept from Clay Caldwell combining barbecue and Mexican food to replace his hot dog restaurant.