‘Cutting Edge’ Training Costs SD 48 $25,000

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 23, 2012

SD 48 officials and staff spent more than $25,000 on a conference down south, one that exposed them to ‘cutting edge’ theory and practice of education.

Four unnamed administrators and two staff members spent a week engaged in project based learning in San Diego, said Lisa McCullough, SD 48 school superintendent.

They spent three days at High Tech High, a school that was launched by a coalition of San Diego business leaders and educators. Those three days were spent in a ‘Learning Residency’ which is intensive training on leadership.

Then, they moved to north of San Diego, where they mingled with educators all around the world at the World Conference for Project Based Learning.

Funding for the trip came from the SD 48 operating budget, which includes professional development money for senior staff and administrators.

Each full-time teacher gets an annual provision of $340 for professional development. The board approves $20,000 for senior staff professional development in their final operating budget.

Lisa McCullogh said that any learning organization requires injections of expertise and exposure to ‘cutting edge’ theory and practice.

“Quality professional development thrives in local, job-embedded, often site-specific, experiences,” she said.

She said SD 48 will seek input from teachers towards a new Education Plan. In partnership with the Buck Institute, a three-day symposium for project based learning for teachers is also planned in August.

Local BCTF chair, Beth Miller, said while she respects the staff’s right to use their Pro D money as they seem fit, she had her doubts regarding the trips timing.

“The high schools are winding down, and there is going to be an exam next week, and they are also hiring at this time,” she said.

 She said some teachers did raise eyebrows over the trip, given that it is a time of financial constraint.

 “It felt like a bondoogle,” she said.

The trip cost is as follows:

Registration Fees: $ 6,750

Flights:$ 3,400

Accommodations: $ 9,915

Transportation: $ 1,200

Meals (estimate) : $2,200

TOC’s (estimate) : $1,000


  1. Nelson Winterburn says:

    This was undoubtedly a very worthwhile conference. I am looking forward to reading each individual’s report outlining how lessons learned can be of use to the S2S School District. Also, being a transparent Board, the names of all attendees will be published as well as the selection process used to choose these attendees.