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Seminole approves expensive summer training
One interesting note: The Kagan Summer Academy, which promises "magical training," has not updated the website to include promises about the Common Core.
Seminole School Board has pulled $100,00 out of hat for Disney training
Despite all the hand wringing over revenue shortages and promises about ”watching every penny” to help cover a continuing budget crisis, the Seminole School Board somehow has come up with $100,000 for teacher and principal training at a swank Disney resort this summer.
The expenditure amounts to a fifth of the $500,000 the School Board estimates it will save by shutting down the Hopper Center for emotionally disabled students, a move it said was unavoidable in these financially difficult times.
A watchful taxpayer noted the apparent incongruity between cuts and spending during a School Board meeting last week, when the workshop expenditure otherwise went flying through wrapped in a list of other purchases.
"How could you even consider it in these times? I keep hearing about budget cuts," said resident Bill Reardon.
The Kagan Summer Academy 2012 is expected to draw educators from around the country for various of its five-day workshops running July 9-20.
Seminole County public schools will be sending 165 teachers and 50 administrators to the workshops to be held at the Hilton in Walt Disney World Resort.
"It's a magical training and dream vacation all in one!” gushes the online brochure touting the event run by a California firm that specializes in such educational gatherings. These kinds of events are never held in the Gobi Desert, where the temptation to slip out of a session to catch a sand storm might be resisted.
Anna Marie Cote, deputy superintendent for instruction, told the School Board that the training is necessary to prepare teachers and administrators for new teaching approaches necessary to meet challenges of the state’s increasingly tougher student testing and evaluation of schools. Those who attend will be expected to share their knowledge with others in their schools, she said.
Reardon wasn’t satisfied.
“I understand that teachers need to learn,” he said. “What I don’t understand is why we can’t do this in house. I don’t understand the need for a $100,000 contract to do something we should be able to do ourselves.”
Officials assured the board that no employees will be staying overnight at the Disney hotel, which is so near home. And apparently the district is getting something of a discounted price from the $799 listed cost of each workshop, as it looks like the payout is about $465 a head for the Seminole contingent.
Orlando Sentinel School Zone
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