In the Journal News' School boards rack up expenses Ernie Garcia reports on School Board expense reports. He compares Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Yonkers. Why were these the only three districts compared? Why were other districts not included? How does Syracuse fit in?
Mr. Garcia reports:
Despite their smaller districts, school board members in Mount Vernon and New Rochelle file more expense reports than their Yonkers counterparts.
Members of New Rochelle's Board of Education racked up $28,312.24 in expenses in the period from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2008, compared with Yonkers' Board of Education expenses of $4,804.71.
Where is the money being spent?
School officials in Mount Vernon and New Rochelle defended their board members' expenditures, which are predominantly related to travel and conference attendance. They said travel to conferences is critical to school districts because board members receive training and bring back useful ideas.
New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent John Quinn said that not attending conferences can be costlier.
"It's very important to have an informed board and a cohesive board," Quinn said. "They've brought back substantive ideas, such as the fast-forward method of training students who have learning disabilities."
How do the numbers compare?
School board 2006-07: $2,988.23 School board 2007-08: $1,816.48
Superintendent 2007: $4,152.33 Superintendent 2008: $2.934.56
Mount Vernon (incomplete records provided)
School board 2006-07: $9,609.24 School board 2007-08: $1,639.60
Superintendent 2007: $1,891.71 Superintendent 2008: $3,068.07
School board 2006-07: $10,959.96 School board 2007-08: $17,352.28
Superintendent 2007: $3,453.56 Superintendent 2008: $6,463.64
School board 2006-07: $1,881.16 School board 2007-08: $1,281.85
Superintendent 2007: $5,955.07 Superintendent 2008: $1,197.97