A teacher vacation paid for by the state. The state of Arizona is paying for a teacher “conference” that took place at a 4-star resort during July, using money to pay for it that could have gone to other programs for the state. The point of the conference was apparently to attend courses where teaches could learn critical skills in order to pass them on to students when they returned to their school districts. Instead, what seems to have happened, is that the state of Arizona has paid for the vacation of hundreds of teachers across Arizona. This is not going to sit well with all taxpayers, and puts the teachers that attended in a very bad light.
According to an Arizona news station, the all-expense trip for these teachers took place at a four-star mountainside resort in Tucson. There a “laundry list” of classes was offered to the teachers, who were paying to attend each one of them. Correction, the state was paying for them to attend each one of them. On paper, it may sound like a good idea to send teachers to a conference where they can attend learning courses and become better at their jobs. But that is not what this particular news channel found when they went to the resort to check out the Arizona teachers conference.
When ABC news out of Tucson went to the resort, they found many of the teachers lounging poolside during classes. When one of the teachers at the pool was asked about the conference she stated that her district had spent more than $900 for her to attend, and she had even skipped out on a $40 class that she said she would attend. It wasn’t just teachers that Arizona taxpayers were paying for either, as friends and family were able to enjoy the resort as well. One teacher brought along her kids, and told ABC that her school district had also paid for her trip. If that doesn’t make Arizona taxpayers upset, maybe the fact that many of them used school vehicles to drive to the conference might just tip the scales.
When the ABC crew took hidden cameras into some of the workshops that cost almost $1000 combined to attend (again all teachers attending had their schools pay), teachers were not paying attention, were playing chess, posting pictures on Facebook, surfing the Internet, and even checking the sports scores. During one part of the classes, many of the teachers were seen sitting at the bar drinking beer while watching the British Open. According to the hotel, more than 1,200 educators attended the state funded conference, and that the average registration for each of them was almost $1,000 each. That is just registration, and doesn’t count the hotel stay of five nights, the food costs, and the vehicle costs to attend the conference. That puts the dollar total of this conference well past $1.2 million in total, and is something that should really be looked at by legislators in the state.
Sure teachers deserve our support and admiration; but at what cost?
Source: ABC News Story on Conference