(From July 2, 2013) Some Turner Report readers have been quick to castigate the Joplin R-8 Administration for spending more than $30,000 sending at least 27 administrators and TLCs (teaching/learning coaches) to a four-day conference in Washington, D. C. at a time when the board has just passed the biggest deficit budget in the district's history.
Perhaps we should not be so quick to cast blame.
While it is true that the district spent $530 apiece for the 27 whose registration for the conference was approved by the Board of Education at its June 25 meeting, and it is highly unlikely, though they are solid, sturdy individuals, that the Joplin R-8 contingent pitched tents in a public park to save the taxpayers money (the cheapest rooms at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center where the 21st annual Model Schools Conference are $179 a night), district officials did their best to help taxpayers by squeezing every dime out of the trip they could.
For instance, a glance at the Model Schools Conference website indicates the district got off easy by only having to pay $530 a person. By registering early, they were able to knock $100 off the price of each registration, or at least $2,700.
So a quick review of what probably will be spent on the junket as the Joplin officials receive their annual refresher course in rigor, relevance, and relationships:
-At least $14,500 for registration
-A likely total of close to $18,000 for hotel rooms (unless of course, they saved even more money by sleeping five to a room to give them more time to talk about what they learned during their workshop sessions)
-If they followed the procedure used at previous conferences, each attendee received a $300 allowance for meals, which would be at least $8,100.
The Model Schools Conference may have cost as much as $40,000, but give credit where credit is due. It could have cost $2,700 more.