School system spent $4,000 to send two administrators to Phoenix

March 06, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |

Washington County Public Schools paid $4,002.96 for two administrators to go in February 2010 to Phoenix, where Elizabeth Morgan was named 2010 National Superintendent of the Year, according to information provided by the school system.

The school system paid $2,062.37 for Dale Bannon, director of system development, and $1,940.59 for Shula Finkelstein, executive assistant for strategic planning, board and community relations, according to information provided by the school system’s communications office on Feb. 28.

Those amounts include conference registration, airfare, hotel accommodations, meals, parking and local transportation, according to the document e-mailed to The Herald-Mail.

The amount was not available for inclusion in a Feb. 20 story about Morgan’s expenses. Morgan retired Feb. 28 from the school system to take a job with a national nonprofit.

Morgan’s costs for the Phoenix trip were covered by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland because she was being honored, she has said.

She would have attended the Phoenix meeting of AASA anyway, so there was money budgeted for her to make the trip, Morgan has said. When she discovered her expenses would be covered, Morgan said she offered to use her budget for the trip to allow some senior staff to go, and Finkelstein and Bannon took her up on the offer.

Morgan’s travel expenses for fiscal year 2009-10 amounted to $3,708.01. Adding the $4,002.96 her expense budget covered for Finkelstein and Bannon brings her expenses for the year to $7,710.97.

Morgan’s contract for that year permitted expenses up to $10,000.

Morgan said last month that Finkelstein coordinated the national application process and attending the AASA conference was important for Bannon in his job as development director.

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