Tarheeltalker

Money Well-Spent or Just Spent?

Just a few days ago, some 10 people affiliated with our local school system attended a conference in Tampa,Fl sponsored by the  Schlechty Center, based in Louisville,Ky. This is at least the second trip to a Schlechty conference, as a delegation went to Albuquerque,NM  last year. Final numbers are not available but the costs will  exceed $14,000 since the  registration fee alone was $1,400 per person according to a Daily Advance article by Kristin Pitts.

Finances are tight in our local system as they are in most school districts. So, how does one justify the costs incurred on this trip? Of those who attended, four were school board members( out of six total members) , 2 were elementary school principals and four were  administrators, including the superintendent and assistant superintendent.

Frankly, I do not know, although I would like to give the attendees the benefit of the doubt. Only one of those attending was available for comment and he acknowledged that  cost was an issue. But, he added, if you talked to any who attended this year or last they would say that the conferences were beneficial. That may be true but one wonders no one else could be reached for comment.Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Nine people, several of them school system employees and they could not be reached? Amazing!

Throw this comment in from a member who went to New Mexico last year but not to Tampa this year. Quoting from the Daily Advance, Board member Bill Luton said that last year’s conference stressed transparency and the value of listening to the public.  Maybe the transparency part did not sink in so well. A quote from Luton stated,” I can certainly understand why in this economic climate people might be at least concerned about expenditures.” Ya think?

As some of the online comments said, if the system were flush with money, costs would not be an issue. But the system is not flush, the teachers are in a constant struggle for needed supplies and costs are an issue.

When public money is spent, accountability is of the utmost importance and oh yes, transparency. Maybe next year when conference time  rolls around, the entourage could be  a bit smaller?

Any conferences any closer to home?

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March 21, 2010 Posted by | education | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The enemy on the Banks of the Hudson

Located  50 miles north of New York City on the banks of the Hudson River  is the United States Military Academy. Founded in 1802, the Academy has graduated over 50,000 cadets into the service of our country. We know many of the names. Grant, Lee, Eisenhower, Pershing, and McArthur are just a few of the honored alumni. Six members of Congress have direct connections to the Academy. Four were faculty members and three Republican congressmen; Geoff Davis  and  Brett Guthrie of Kentucky, and John Shimkus of Illinois are graduates, as is Sen Jack Reed, D, R I.

I wonder if any of these congressmen or senators will any comments about Chris Matthews referring to Obama’s trip to West Point as maybe going to the enemy camp. Matthews has sais much with which I disagree and I will long remember the”tingles” comment. But to make even a passing reference             (which he sort of backs away from) to West Point as the enemy camp for the country’s commander-in-chief, just totally baffles me. The  more i think of it, the more irritating it becomes. I have to wonder, does Matthews really believe that statement? I have no doubt that there are a number of left leaning journalists who probably do. We support the troops, just not their mission. Yeah, right.

He has since apologized  and  for that I applaud him. Let us hope that it can become a bit of a learning experience. Say, engage brain before operating mouth, maybe. Do you think a little road trip to see the place for himself would be  agood thing? Nah, probably not.

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Media, military | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment