• From: Judy Gafa
    Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 6:29:37 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
    To: gerschcom@gmail.com
    Cc: School Board
    Subject: Policy 5111

    Good Evening Mrs Gersch
    I did vote yes on Proposal 5111.  I had a full month to get my question answered
    I was reassured by our school district attorney that this is not a taxable benefit
    We did get many many emails from community members who are not teachers who were in full support of this policy
    I voted no the first time. I was told it was not a big deal and the community wouldn't mind.  That was a much different meeting.  With the stress on school funding I do think the community has changed their mind on this.   
    It was almost 2:1 in favor until late Monday.  Many emails referenced opposition due to schools of choice. This policy falls under a different school code.
    We have 14 schools in this district. The total of teachers children that might attend here is roughly 50.  That averages 3.5 children per school
    I did not make my mind up until this past weekend.  I throughly trust our administration to implement this policy as written. If there is no room for these students in a class then they won't be in that class
    I think our students are not going to divide students into resident vs non resident. Our kids are an inclusive group.  I've seen it over and over
    My biggest reason for voting yes was to make sure GPPSS attracts and keeps the best staff possible.  We want top talent in our district. Liggett I believe allows their teachers to bring their children to Liggett at either a reduced cost or no charge    All of the top districts in Michigan offer this benefit, how can we stay competitive for the top talent if we don't have something equal to offer them?
    One of our journalism teachers was recruited by a school in California, we lost an Art teacher to Country Day.  
    Our ACT scores at both high schools are the highest they have ever been 
    It is good business to take care of your front line team.  Look at successful companies, Google, Pixar, Virgin  Airlines, Costco.  We should always be thinking about recruiting and retention of our nationally recognized staff.
    I cannot speak to other board members, but that's how I looked at this. Leading by fear of continual pay cuts is not a good way to lead. My fiduciary responsibility is to the tax payers, and that includes making sure our schools stay competitive and challenging with keeping and hiring the best of the best
    I hope this helps you understand my vote
    Judy Gafa