THE HUNTER REPORT
A DROP IN THE BUCKET
TAXPAYERS FOOT BILL FOR TRAVEL & MOUNTAIN RETREATS
BY: PAT HUNTER
The school board held a Retreat on March 8-9, 2013 at the Clarion Inn & Suites, 1100 Parkway, Gatlinburg.
Board members (Tate-Absent), director and central staff, and nine principals attended the mountain retreat.
The Mountain Retreat will offer a short walk to the Great Smoky Mountains and a host of amenities including spacious rooms with scenic vistas, 24-hour fitness facility, penthouse suites, fireplaces and jacuzzi hot tubs, and much more. Explore, plan, shop, and enjoy the environment with fine dining and attractions to this get away destination in the Great Smokies before the official Spring Break.
As with past weekend retreats (getaways), list of attendees included spouses and children of some board members, and director.
Nine school principals were originally scheduled to drive up on Friday (March 8th) however, plans were changed and principals arrived on Thursday March 7th, adding to the cost of the Retreat. It's only taxpayer money!
The Mountain Retreat included at least two catered meals, and a meal at a restaurant (Calhoun's). Coincidently, the school board just voted to increase per diem travel expense just in time for the Great Smokies Retreat.
If you're thinking that board travel is just a drop in the bucket, think again.
Three years of travel expense adds up pretty fast (see below).
Just think of how $121,458.00 could be put to better use for classroom supplies, assistants in the classroom, etc.
|Travel Budget||Loudon County Board of Education|
|Ending June 30||2011||2012||2013||Total|
|Audit||Audit||FY 12-13||3 - Year Period|
|By Department||Actual||Actual||* Budget||2011-2013|
|School Board||$ 12,457.00||$ 16,821.00||$ 21,000||$ 50,278.00|
|Director of Schools||$ 12,747.00||$ 12,528.00||$ 13,000||$ 38,275.00|
|Central & Other||$ 9,024.00||$ 10,381.00||$ 13,500||$ 32,905.00|
|TOTAL||$ 34,228.00||$ 39,730.00||$ 47,500||$ 121,458.00|
* On April 3, 2009 a one-day board retreat was held at the Tech Center, Harrison Rd. Lenoir City.
The cost of the retreat was minimal - sandwiches for the board and staff.