Dist. 207 Travel Cuts Are Sign of the Times Administrators Often Trim Trip Costs First, but Does That Lead to Lack of Training?

By Holmes, Erin | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 14, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Dist. 207 Travel Cuts Are Sign of the Times Administrators Often Trim Trip Costs First, but Does That Lead to Lack of Training?


Holmes, Erin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Erin Holmes Daily Herald Staff Writer

As the college counselor at Maine West High School, Margaret Gallagher-Smythe has been eyeing a weeklong summer tour that would take her to 12 universities.

The trip would be invaluable, she said, given her role in urging students to explore new options.

It also would be expensive. She estimates the tour, part of a conference for educators, could cost about $900 - about double what she's been given by District 207 to spend all year.

So, she said, the rest of the money may come out of her own checkbook.

It's not the most palatable idea, but Gallagher-Smythe agrees that slashing her travel allowance is the "lesser of two evils" in a school system that is mulling increasing English teachers' class loads and laying off secretaries to cut costs.

"Will I travel less, on my own time and out of my own pockets? Probably," Gallagher-Smythe said. "But if a choice is being made between losing a secretary and cutting my budget in half, there is really no question for me."

In a move proposed and endorsed by the union, the Maine Township High School District 207 board last week cut by half what some officials said already was a comparatively lean budget for teacher, board and administrator travel.

It'll save the district about $67,000 a year. The money is used to cover transportation to and from conferences, workshops and clinics.

It also is used for registration fees - that accounts for the bulk of the spending - lodging and meals.

Since District 207 didn't cut its entire travel budget, it shouldn't have too big an impact, said school board President Eric Leys, who, by way of example, adds he's been to the national school board conference only twice in his five years on the board.

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Associate Superintendent Dave Torres will tell you District 207's travel cuts are right on track.

Billed by supporters as priceless training for those charged with educating today's teenagers, the travel budget also is seen as an easy "cut" for districts in financial binds, since it doesn't slice too close to the classroom.

And while nearly all educators agree they'd prefer more funding in a perfect world, there's little consensus on how much it actually takes to give people the training they need.

Several years ago, District 211 made what Torres calls "significant reductions" to its travel allowances as part of cutbacks.

District 211, the largest high school system in the state, spent about $38,000 last year for teacher travel; most covered by grants. For board and administrator travel, the district budgeted just under $34,000.

It all added up to just a few thousand dollars more than in District 207, though 211 serves nearly twice as many teenagers and has 300 more teachers.

"That, to me, is very restricted," Torres said of District 211's travel funds, most of which went to registration fees for clinics and workshops.

In Northwest Suburban High School District 214 - which is just beginning to face tighter finances - officials spent nearly $440,000 on travel in the 2004-05 school year, about $288,000 less than budgeted.

That's significantly more than District 211's allowance, though District 214 has slightly fewer teens and fewer teachers.

For 2005-06, District 214 cut back, budgeting $625,292. It has spent $73,500 so far.

Board newcomer Leslie Pinney, who thinks that's far too much, has reviewed travel expenses and requested a new policy, with less spending and tweaked rules - like limits on per-night hotel expenses.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Dist. 207 Travel Cuts Are Sign of the Times Administrators Often Trim Trip Costs First, but Does That Lead to Lack of Training?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?