Monday, February 2, 2009

Wasteful School Spending: The San Diego Junket

On April April 4-7 the National School Board Association is having a convention in San Diego. This comes from their website:
About the Conference

This year's NSBA Annual Conference features a programming lineup with your 21st century learning and leadership goals in mind.

Whether you are a veteran board member, a superintendent, a board support professional or a first-time attendee, you'll take home the resources and resolve to better face your school district's toughest challenges.

The four-day Conference includes everything you need to become a more effective leader:
  • Inspirational General Session speakers.
  • Topical sessions and workshops covering all facets of school governance.
  • Enhanced programming in Technology and School Foundations.
  • New products and services showcased at the NSBA Exposition.
  • Numerous opportunities to network and collaborate with your peers.
  • Energizing site visits, tours, and special events.

We believe that by coming together, sharing knowledge, and defining our leadership roles, we can advance student achievement at home and improve public education across the country.

Join a nationwide network of your colleagues at the 2009 NSBA Annual Conference. There's no better way to demonstrate you are accountable to your community and committed to leading the way forward in your school district.

Mark your calendars and register today! We'll see you in San Diego.

Every year I hear about how the legislature is "short-changing" education. Taxpayers are always told they need to cough up more tax dollars to education. "It's for the children," they are told. Unfortunately, that money rarely reaches the classroom and is usually used on bloated administrative salaries and for taxpayer-funded vacations like the San Diego trip that masquerade as conferences. It is ironic that the program description suggests that attending the seminar shows you are "accountable to your community." Talk about perverse logic.

Constituents need to be told who is going on this lavish junket, how much it is going to cost taxpayers and what they are getting for their tax dollars. I have learned that apparently a large contingent of administrators from Washington Township (Indianapolis) is planning to attend. The irony is that Washington Township is one of the worst districts in terms of constantly seeking more money from the taxpayers.

But what about the other Indianapolis-area school districts? Is IPS sending a contingent? How about my home township, Pike Township? What about the other township schools in Marion County? Taxpayers need to know how their money is being spent. Transparency should be standard operating procedure. If the San Diego trip is something justifiable, let school boards and education administrators provide that explanation to the public. My guess is that if public scrutiny were applied you would see far fewer people at the San Diego conference in April.


Anonymous said...

Paul, Please let your readers know that I am not attending the San Diego conference.

Greg Wright, Member
MSD Washington Township

Leslie Sourwine said...

Mr. Wright

It's great that you are putting the welfare of the school system and the townships ahead of personal pleasure. Good for you to be a stand up kind of guy.


Not everyone has access to your blog. To get the word out as to who is going to the San Diego conference and who isn't someone needs to contact the Star and post the information in an article. In addition parents from these townships could volunteer to contact the parents in the school system to give them the news so that they can all contact the administration and voice their concerns.

Leslie Sourwine