When we request travel expense records from public school districts around the nation, most reply with detailed transaction records, identifying how much was spent, with what companies, and what type of travel expense it was – hotels, air fare or food.
So we can usually tell readers just how many thousands of dollars were spent at Four Seasons hotels or Disney resorts, and how much went for expensive restaurant tabs by traveling school employees.
But the Vista, California Unified School District wasn’t quite so detailed in its response to our request. While a few of the travel spending records offered details, the vast majority only offered dollar amounts.
But those dollar figures add up to a lot of money.
In fiscal 2016-17, the Vista school district had 1,091 travel-related transactions for a total of $322,540.54. That averages out to nearly $300 per transaction. That’s a lot of money spent away from the school buildings and classrooms, for services we can only hope were all directly beneficial for students.
We can’t say how much of that much of that money was spent on hotels, plane rides or restaurant tabs, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.
The fact is that the Vista school district a lot of public money on travel, most of which we have to assume was not absolutely necessary.
If taxpayers are curious about the details, they can go to a school board meeting or check at the district administrative office, then judge for themselves whether their education dollars are being spent in the most prudent manner.