Monday, May 4, 2009

School Board Spending

Kristin Longley of The Flint Journal investigates how Genesee County school districts are spending money, and the results raise more than a few questions:
Most local school districts are slashing their budgets this year, but none more so than the Flint School District which is closing schools to deal with a projected $19-million deficit.

Just weeks after declaring a fiscal crisis in November, five school board members and the superintendent went on the five-day trip to Atlanta that cost more than $9,000 to attend the National Association of Black School Educators conference.

Flint school board President Vera Perry said members of the board travel to conferences out of state to gain insight on and meet with officials at urban districts similar to Flint. As for in-state expenses for board certification classes, Perry said those are extremely valuable.

"That's to improve the board," she said. "Those are educational classes."

She said she does not think five board members is too many to send to an out-of-state conference. The district also receives grant funding for some travel.

"You want the board to be as educated as possible," she said.

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Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.