Pittsburgh school administrators, board members spent $380,387 on travel in 2015-16

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized

PITTTSBURGH — A lot of larger school districts spend six figures every year for employee travel. That usually includes all employees, including thousands of teachers. The Pittsburgh school district apparently spends six figures per year on travel for administrators and school board members alone! In fiscal 2015-16, the Pittsburgh district spent a breathtaking $380,387.84 on […]

Indianapolis schools had big money problems in 2015-16, but still spent $331,489 on travel

By Steve Gunn on Friday, June 16th, 2017 in Uncategorized

INDIANAPOLIS — In March 2016, the Indianapolis Star reported about severe financial challenges at Indianapolis Public Schools. “The state’s largest school district is running a deficit of more than $12.6 million this year, and it projects a $5.5 million deficit next year,” the newspaper reported. Considering that news, some taxpayers would probably be shocked to […]

Cincinnati school district rewards teachers for a subpar academic performance

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized

CINCINNATI – In May, the Cincinnati school board ratified a new contract with the district’s teachers’ union. The new three-year deal provided a two percent annual raise for teachers for the life of the contract. In most professions, raises are handed out based on performance. But public schools have always been an exception, and Cincinnati […]

Houston school employees ran up $3.6 million travel tab as budget cuts loomed

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized

HOUSTON – A year ago, the Houston school board approved $84 million in budget cuts, to help eliminate a massive deficit. The deficit was imposed by the Texas public school funding system, which forces school districts with more financial resources to share revenue with less fortunate districts. Houston, with a rising property tax base, was […]

FL school district bans employee travel, but unfazed board member says she’ll keep traveling

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized

TAMPA – Wild spending on employee travel is common on a lot of American public school districts, including some with big financial problems. Officials at Hillsborough County Public Schools displayed some rare common sense last fall when they imposed an out-of-county employee travel ban due to a large budget deficit that forced cutbacks to student […]

Seattle superintendent blamed state for school financial problems; local newspaper corrected him

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 in Uncategorized

SEATTLE – Public school officials love to blame state governments for their financial problems. It’s not politically wise to admit that they have done a poor job of managing their schools’ resources. In March, Seattle school Superintendent Larry Nyland sent a letter to parents throughout the district, notifying them of a possible $74 million budget […]

Rochester, NY school district spent thousands on hotels, flights in 2015-16

By Steve Gunn on Friday, June 9th, 2017 in Uncategorized

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Wallethub.com, a financial website, recently ranked 90 of the most populated school districts in cities across the U.S., based on how effectively they spend tax dollars. The rankings tied student test scores to district spending to determine which school districts “are getting the most – and least – bang for their buck,” […]

Pittsburgh superintendent had huge benefit package, nice retirement boost in 2015-16

By Steve Gunn on Friday, June 9th, 2017 in Uncategorized

PITTSBURGH – In 2011, a Pittsburgh media outlet ran a story reporting that “pay and compensation for school superintendents in the region is on the rise.” At the time, former Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane was the highest paid in the region, with a salary of $200,000, according to Pittsburgh.CBSlocal.com. It would be interesting […]

Syracuse, NY school employee 2015-16 travel cost $351,966 for conferences, hotels, flights

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 in Uncategorized

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – We recently asked the Syracuse school district to provide a record of its travel-related spending for 2015-16 fiscal year. School district officials were cooperative, providing an extensive list of transactions that totaled a very substantial $351,966.54. The money was spent on all sorts of things, ranging from professional conference fees to hotel […]

Clark County school board members ran up big tabs at pricey hotels in 2015-16

By Steve Gunn on Monday, June 5th, 2017 in Uncategorized

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – What is it about public school personnel and pricey hotels? The seven members of the Clark County, Nevada school board spent a total of $46,697.47 in school district dollars on various things in the 2015-16 fiscal year. And when the seven board members traveled, they usually did so in style. They […]

Milwaukee school employee travel cost nearly $400,000 in 2015-16 school year

By Steve Gunn on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 in Uncategorized

MILWAUKEE – The late President Ronald Reagan would probably not be pleased. Reagan, always a critic of government spending, particularly during lean times, has a high school named in his honor in the Milwaukee school district. The employees of Ronald Reagan High School easily led the entire district in travel spending in the 2015-16 fiscal […]

Winton Woods, OH superintendent and teachers well-paid, despite district’s ‘F’ grade

By Steve Gunn on Monday, June 5th, 2017 in Uncategorized

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Winton Woods school district has had serious issues in recent years. A few years ago it was one of several Ohio school district caught “scrubbing” attendance records to improve state ratings. In 2015, a candidate for the Winton Woods school board published an editorial, noting that the district’s academic standing “has […]

Teachers should be OK in Penn Hills, PA, even if the district imposes a salary freeze

By Steve Gunn on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 in Uncategorized

PITTSBURGH – Penn Hills school Superintendent Nancy Hines had a dire message for the district’s teacher’s union in January. “The labor contract with the teachers expires next year, and we will be asking them to consider a pay freeze because of our financial situation,” Hines told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hines was responding to the district’s […]

Average annual compen$ation for Central I$lip, NY teacher$? $161,454!

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 in Uncategorized

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – Way back in 2005, the New York Times published a story titled “The Rise of the Six-Figure Teacher.” It addressed the growing number of public school teachers in New York State that were earning six-figure salaries. As the article noted, the increasing salaries were becoming a strain for many public school […]