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Who Goes to Vegas, Learns in Vegas

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With fuel costs and general expenses at an all time high, school districts across the country are being forced to save money by cutting teaching positions, raising the cost of school lunches, and curtailing school-bus expenditures. However, Liberty Park Elementary in Greenacres, Florida, which is a low-income school that did not meet federal academic benchmarks, will be sending 15 teachers and their principal to the National Conference for Differentiated Instruction at a cost of $17,000 courtesy of a grant. The 5-day professional development teacher-training excursion to Las Vegas is a use-it-or-lose-it deal. If the school doesn’t use the grant, they can’t use the money for anything else.

The district, which is running a $36 million budget shortfall—it’s worst in two decades, has tightened its purse strings, including cancelling an annual recruiting trip to Orlando in June. Principal Miriam Williams admits that she would rather have spent the money on supplies or other school expenses, but professional development is one of her biggest priorities. Despite its hefty cost, the trip will be strictly business, said Williams, “When we go, we are going to work…This is a business trip.”

3 Comments

Hey, at least they are sending TEACHERS! In my district, teachers rarely get to go to anything, but the administrators are still traveling the country!

I have been to MANY conferences and I went to the Vegas one 2 summers ago...It was the BEST conference I have ever been to and would go back in a heartbeat even if it were in the middle of nowhere......I learned soooooooo much, the presenters were top notch, and the reference book I received has been my bible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We all understand the desire to spend more for supplies, but quality professional development is an investment that will 'keep on giving'.

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  • TJ Nelson: We all understand the desire to spend more for supplies, read more
  • Karen Castle: I have been to MANY conferences and I went to read more
  • Susie: Hey, at least they are sending TEACHERS! In my district, read more

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