PITTTSBURGH — A lot of larger school districts spend six figures every year for employee travel.
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 administrator/school board travel.
The money was spent on “hotels, airfare, per diem and transportation” costs.
At least $79,383 was spent in 163 payments to various hotels throughout the U.S., according to a district travel record provided by a contracted law firm. That averages out to a little over $487 per hotel transaction.
Another $56,015.93 was spent on 77 payments to the People’s Travel Agency Inc. of Pittsburgh. We don’t know what services the agency provided in exchange for those payments, because they are only labeled as “travel” on the document provided by the law firm.
The rest of the transactions involved payments to various vendors, including organizers of professional conferences at various locations around the nation.
Many of the trips taken by administrators and school board members were pretty expensive.
For instance, two school employees, identified in the records as A. McCarthy and K. Henderson, attended the College Board Forum in Washington, D. C. in October 2015. Their fees for the event was $690 per person, according to the travel document. Their lodging cost at the Marriott Wordman Park Hotel was a combined $1,504.54.
That means the trip for the two employees costs taxpayers at least $2,884.54.
Some school administrators and/or board members made a lot of trips in 2015-16. One example was Angela Mike, executive director of the district’s Career and Technical Education department.
Twelve different payments went to various vendors on Mike’s behalf, or directly to Mike as travel-related reimbursements. Her travel tab totaled $3,869.25.
The Pittsburgh district spent $13,654 on fees for conferences organized by the Pacific Educational Group, a San Francisco-based consulting firm that focuses on the concept of “white privilege” in public schools.
Pittsburgh administrators and/or school board members had an unusually expensive travel day on October 9, 2015.
Three employees stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn (no city specified) at a cost of $793.49 apiece. That came to $2,380.47. Another employee stayed at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront for $654.89. Another employee stayed at the Hollywood Suites Hilton (no city specified) for $433.55.
Five employees attended a Pacific Educational Group conference at $645 apiece. Another four attended the same conference at $495 apiece. That came to a total of $5,205.
Another five employees stayed at the Renaissance Hotel. Four of them ran up individual tabs $334.95 and one spent $502.43, totaling $1,842.23. Finally, there was a travel-related payment om that date to an employee named Shannon Plush for $1,317.47.
That brought the total travel cost for Oct. 9, 2015 to $11,833.61.