Vacaville school board to hear travel expense report

By From page A3 | February 13, 2014

VACAVILLE — A review of Vacaville School District travel expenses will be conducted Thursday as the school board prepares to hear a report that its members asked for during the summer.

Superintendent Ken Jacopetti was directed by the board in August 2013 to review all travel requests by air and out-of-state requests for six months and provide a report of the approved travel at the February meeting.

Staff reports list the activities, or pending activities, of nearly 30 employees from July 1, 2013, until April 27, 2014.

Among the list are eight Fairmont Elementary teachers and the principal who were gone five days in August to a professional development training in Los Angeles. Total cost was $7,304, or $913 apiece.

Listed travel included training and conferences for everyone from teachers to administrators and board members. All travel, aside from Reno, was in California.

The most expensive listed was a December 2013 trip by board member David McCallum for $2,164 to an annual education conference in San Diego. The least expensive will be a four-day trip to Reno in March for an activity directors conference for three Will C. Wood High School teachers that cost $345 each.

McCallum said the request for the report stemmed from a 2011 issue that was brought before the board. Concerns were raised about the number of teachers from one site attending a particular Professional Learning Community training, during rather tight fiscal times and while school was in session, which necessitated bringing in substitutes.

“We had suggested we might look at other things such as a couple of teachers going and coming back (to train other teachers) or possibly a webinar,” McCallum said.

McCallum said the idea wasn’t to stop travel, but to make it more effective and to include looking at training offered closer to home.

The superintendent was previously required to approve travel on an individual basis, but the board’s last instruction to Jacopetti was to give a report to the board, which will occur Thursday.

“We are in a situation now (where) we’re OK with the superintendent simply reporting the travel request,” McCallum said.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road in Vacaville. Trustees will meet at 6 p.m. in closed session.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.


Discussion | 1 comment

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  • The MisterFebruary 13, 2014 - 6:49 am

    The Board is doing the right thing in exercising their oversight responsibilities. It's a bit disconcerting that the most expensive trip was by Boardmember David McCallum. It would have been nice to have a sentence or two of explanation about that.

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