The project, which was approved on a 5-0 vote, includes all hardware, software, service and maintenance for the installation at the district’s 34 elementary schools, junior high schools and Gilbert Classical Academy at a cost of $315,840, according to district documents. It will be paid for from bond money.
Benson made a commitment to the district to install all the systems by the first day of school for the 2022-23 school year, Superintendent Shane McCord said.
“This is a big step because I think in Gilbert Public Schools for years, our main goal is to be as open and as welcoming as possible,” McCord said. “And what I don’t want, I don’t want this message to be is, ‘We don’t want you in our schools.’ I think the message needs to be, ‘We want you in our schools, and we want everyone to be as safe and secure as possible within those schools.’”
McCord said the district also is looking at adding additional security guards at elementary schools and secondary schools.
The governing board gave unanimous final approval to the fiscal year 2022-23 budgets.
The maintenance and operations budget, which pays for day-to-day operations and most salaries, will be $280.2 million, while unrestricted capital, which pays for physical items, will be $44.16 million.
The average teacher salary and anticipated tax rate were revised from the preliminary approval June 7 with more data available to the district. The average teacher salary is expected to be $62,297, an increase of $5,069 from this school year, or 8.86%. The tax rate is anticipated to fall by $0.2077 to $5.8215 per $100 assessed valuation.
The board unanimously voted to extend transportation incentives the district put in place this year meant to help the district attract and retain bus drivers and monitors for the district.
The first incentive is for all transportation staff with a commercial driver's license and for all hours driving students to receive a $2-per-hour driving incentive. The second is for all van drivers and bus monitors to receive $1-per-hour driving/monitoring bonus. The lesser bonus is to incentivize bus monitors and van drivers to get their license, according to the district.
These incentives are paid only for hours driving or supporting students. The estimated total for the bonus is about $500,000 inclusive of payroll benefits. That amount is included in the FY 2022-23 budget.