How Did Detroit Schools Spend $286,596 On LA Conference?

Tom Gantert:

On Dec. 17, 2017, the Detroit Public Schools Community District sent the staff of its Office of Strategy to a six-day conference in Los Angeles at a cost of $286,596.

Under a spending transparency requirement lawmakers added to the school aid act in 2009, school districts must publish such expenses on their websites.

Other travel expense reports from the Detroit school district mention $250,000 in spending for staffers to attend a May 2019 conference in Italy and $240,000 for a six-day conference in Los Angeles in December 2018.

Michigan’s second largest school district is Utica Community Schools, and it has reported nothing comparable to the Detroit school for travel expenses. That district’s highest expense for out-of-state conferences in 2018-19 was $2,609. Those expenses included just transportation, hotel and registration costs.

The highest travel cost recorded by Ann Arbor Public Schools in 2018-19 was $19,746 for a conference in Nashville, where the district sent 12 people. There was no explanation for what those costs included.