$1.2 million for Conferences and Travel

Over the past year we’ve all been treated to stories about federal employees having a grand time at taxpayer expense at conferences in Las Vegas and other locations.  Because of the controversial nature of these events, I thought it might be worthwhile to look at conferences and travel in PWCS.

In the original FY 2014 budget PWCS projected that it would spend over $1.2 million on conferences and travel, with more than half of that coming from our elementary, middle, and high schools.

Conferences frequently provide teachers and school division employees with opportunities to attain continuing education credits which they need to maintain their certificates and provide opportunities to learn about effective practices used in other school divisions and other regions.

However, as we’ve seen with the reports in the news of late, conferences can be very expensive while the value provided is questionable.  Because of that, I think it’s worthwhile for our school division, schools, and advisory councils to evaluate whether the conferences they plan on attending are the most effective use of their funds.

One note.  Travel is an interesting account in PWCS.  It is kind of a mishmash of charges including mileage reimbursement for employees for attending things like in-service training, mileage reimbursement for travel between schools and the Kelly Center, and travel for conferences.  Making things more complicated, depending on the type of travel, sometimes schools and departments record conference related travel as conference expense and sometimes they record it as travel reimbursement.  Because there’s no way to break those items apart and separate conference related travel from mileage reimbursement for training or travel between schools and the Kelly Center, I’ve included the projected expenditures for travel.

This file, 2014 budget conferences, contains the original FY 2014 projected expenditures for conferences and travel for each department, program, and school in PWCS.    Select schools are reported below because their projected expenditures are outside the norm.

Elementary Schools

The average budgeted by elementary schools for conferences and travel in FY 2014 is $4,800.

  • The following elementary schools budgeted more than $20,000 for conferences and travel in FY 2014.
    • Bennett Elementary.  $28,500 in total.  $28,000 for conferences and $500 for travel.
    • Rosa Parks Elementary.  $24,000 in total.  $20,000 for conferences and $4,000 for travel.
  • The following elementary schools budgeted $10,000 or more for conferences and travel in FY 2014.
    • Enterprise.  $15,000 in total for conferences.
    • Glenkirk. $12,000 in total.  $5,000 for conferences and $7,000 for travel
    • Old Bridge $12,000 in total.  $10,000 for conferences and $2,000 for travel
    • Westgate $12,000 in total.  $2,000 for conferences and $10,000 for travel
    • Buckland Mills.  $10,000 in total for conferences.
    • Marumsco $10,000 in total for conferences.
    • Occoquan.  $10,000 in total for conferences.
    • Vaughan.  $10,000 in total for conferences.

Middle Schools

The average budgeted by middle schools for conferences and travel in FY 2014 is $10,284.

  • The following middle schools budgeted more than $40,000 for conferences and travel in FY 2014.
    • Woodbridge Middle School.  $47,000 in total.  $20,000 for conferences and $20,000 for travel.
  • The following middle schools budgeted more than $15,000 for conferences and travel in FY 2014.
    • Stonewall MS  $19,000 in total.  $17,000 for conferences and $2,000 for travel.
    • Parkside MS $16,000 in total.  $15,000 for conferences and $1,000 for travel.
    • Lynn MS $15,000 in total.  $5,000 for conferences and $10,000 for travel.

High Schools

The average budgeted by high schools for conferences and travel in FY 2014 is $16,714.

  • The following high schools budgeted more than $30,000 for conferences and travel in FY 2014.
    • Gar-Field High School.  $37,000 in total.  $4,000 for conferences and $33,000 for travel.
  • The following high schools budgeted more than $20,000 for conferences and travel in FY 2014.
    • Forest Park High School.  $27,500 in total.  $21,500 for conferences and $6,000 for travel.
    • OP High School.  $24,000 in total.  $17,000 for conferences and $7,000 for travel.
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One Response to “$1.2 million for Conferences and Travel”

  1. The Justice Project (@TheJustProj) Says:

    Great article! Love your enthusiasm for education! You should check out our new non-profit organization, The Justice Project. We are an open dialogue social platform committed to giving a voice to educational, environmental, social, and economic justice. We are very passionate about education, and would love to share your cause with our followers! http://www.ajustdifference.org


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