California School Districts Send Employees on Pricey Trips, Courtesy of the Taxpayers

sweep money
(entrepreneur.com)

California taxpayers are starting to realize a sad reality about public education that EAGnews has harped on for years: public schools spend millions on employee travel, much of it to luxurious out-of-state destinations.

The Sacramento Bee reports that school districts in the Sacramento area alone spent $10 million on employee travel in the 2012-13 school year, a substantial increase over previous years that was fueled by a massive 2012 tax hike.

In other words, California’s public schools are using their increase in school funds to send teachers and administrators all across the United States for “professional development conferences” and other training at high-end resorts.

“District leaders said the trips were necessary to prepare teachers and administrators for the new Common Core State Standards, as well as advanced programs such as the International Baccalaureate track that some schools have added to attract high-caliber students,” the Bee reports. “They also said they had to address a backlog of training needs after slashing travel budgets during the state budget crisis.”

The total travel expenses for several districts in the Sacramento area are astounding.

The San Juan Unified School District, for example, spent about $1.1 million on employee travel to conferences. In the Twin Rivers district, it was $894,000. Sacramento City Unified spent $744,000. At Elk Grove Unified – $655,000.

Even smaller districts like El Dorado Union High School District shelled out big bucks for employee travel. That district, while only spending a measly $340,000, topped the Bee’s list for the most travel spending relative to the student population at $54 per pupil.

Other big spending districts, according to the Sacramento Bee:
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Analysis: Cheap Energy Produced Through Fracking Has Saved a lot of Money for Public Schools

fracking
(wallstreetdaily.com)

Sooner or later, the environmentalists are going to have to admit that fracking, far more than green energy, has the short-term potential to make America less depending on foreign energy sources.

A new report shows that fracking saved public schools and local governments a combined $2 billion in energy costs last year.

The American Petroleum Institute, an oil lobbying organization, released an analysis late last month that puts the controversial drilling method into perspective by illustrating energy savings to schools and local governments tied to fracking, Businessweek reports.

“The report calculates that because of the abundant supplies of cheap energy unlocked by fracking, local elementary and secondary schools saved more than $1.2 bill off their combined gas and electricity bills during the 2012-13 school year – or enough money to hire 14,246 full-time teachers,” according to the news site.

“State and local governments saved a total of $720 million because of cheaper gas and electricity … enough to hire an extra 11,000 workers.”
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New York City Principal Once Again Bans Patriotic American Music from School Ceremony

Hawkins
(societybytes.wordpress.com)

Coney Island principal Greta Hawkins apparently doesn’t care for America.

For the second time in three years Hawkins has banned patriotic music planned for end of the year ceremonies at Public School 90 for trivial reasons, the New York Daily News reports.

Most recently Hawkins put the kibosh on pre-k graduation ceremonies scheduled for June 19 because she contends teachers at the school didn’t clear their plan with her.

“Teachers said that they had planned to start the end-of-year ceremony for the school’s 54 pre-K students with kids marching into an assembly carrying flags while ‘Stand Up for the Red, White and Blue,’ played over the public address system,” the news site reports.

“But the program struck a sour note with Hawkins, staffers said, who barred both the flags and the tune from the upcoming ceremony. Teachers at the school said they don’t know what they will do for the ceremony now.”

The cancelation is the second at P.S. 90 since Hawkins took over as principal in 2009. In 2012, Hawkins, 49, killed plans for kindergarten students to sing “God Bless America” by Lee Greenwood “because she objected to the lyrics,” which she found “too aggressive,” the News reports.

It seems obvious that Hawkins has a problem with patriotism, and is using her position as principal to extinguish any efforts by the school’s teachers to invoke American pride in students. At least that seems to be the conclusion the school’s teachers are coming to.

Despite Hawkins’ claim that she acted because organizers didn’t ask her permission, “staffers said their principal’s history of banning patriotic music from school events suggests that her motivations might have been something else entirely,” according to the Daily News.

Nobody should need permission to celebrate the greatest country in the world.

It’s not clear whether Hawkins’ behavior stems from a personal ideological opposition to American exceptionalism, an oversensitivity to political correctness, or something else. But what is certain is that the anti-America, shame-on-us mentality of liberal progressives is becoming increasingly common in public schools.

This episode at P.S. 90 illustrates exactly why it’s critically important for parents and taxpayers to closely monitor local education officials to ensure students receive a balanced education untainted by those who engrain their personal political views into school culture.

Hawkins can hate America all she wants – that’s a right granted to her as a citizen of this nation – but she has no right to block innocent children from expressing their pride in America.

This woman should be removed from her position immediately.

Bottom Line: Michelle Obama Is Not An Elected Official – So Why Does She Get to Push Her School Lunch Policies on Congress?

Michelle eating
(Cnsnews.com)

First Lady Michelle Obama wants public schools to quit complaining about her new “healthier” lunch standards, and to stick to the program that has left students starving and schools losing money since it was implemented in 2010.

Mrs. Obama made her views known as the House Appropriations Committee considered a plan this week to allow schools to opt out of the federal lunch standards if they’ve lost money for six months.

School lunch directors from across the country have complained in recent years about drastic drops in revenue tied to the standards that force students to take food they don’t want, and tend to throw away. Some districts have even dumped the federal lunch program altogether, opting to go it alone without federal assistance.

Student revolts – including a viral YouTube video – also erupted in several districts as students have dumped their lunches into overflowing garbage cans, rather than choke down the unappetizing food.
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