make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Bladen Co. school board members reportedly overspend on California trip

READ MORE: Bladen Co. school board members reportedly overspend on California trip
overspending300.jpg

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Two Bladen County School Board members reportedly overspent more than $1,000 of tax payers' money during an out-of-state conference.

In April, the two board members attended a national school board conference in California. According to spending records from the trip, the two spent much more than they were allotted.

With limited funding from the state allocated to public schools, parents are outraged that something like this could happen.

“We've got two board members that spent $5,500 on a trip, or as I look at it, a vacation with their families,” said Rufus Duckworth, a Bladen County tax payer and West Bladen parent.

According to the records, Bladen County School Board members Mike Cogdell and Vinston Rozier spent nearly $600 more each than what was allotted for four nights in a San Francisco hotel. Rozier reportedly spent an extra night's stay at a cost of about $100.

“Each one of their bills for lodging was $896 or approximately three times what was allowed by their own guidelines,” said Duckworth.

According to the records, both board members also spent more than what was allotted on meals during their trip.

Another parent of a West Bladen High School student, Paula Hester, says she doesn't understand how this could happen when teachers and students are having such a hard time getting by with what they have.

“We've got kids in the school system that are suffering,” said Hester. “We've got teachers that are taking money out of their pocket and buying supplies and providing supplies in their classroom because the fund are not there to make it available.”

Hester says her daughter was asked to bring her own paper to school because the school could not provide it. She says the overspending by board members it's unacceptable.

“If they are going and getting training, that's great, but don't abuse the system,” said Hester. “Don't abuse the funds.”

Duckworth says he wants pay back.

“This money needs to be reimbursed,” said Duckworth. “If not, then there needs to be an investigation into the illegal use of tax payer money.”

After several rumors about Bladen County School employees facing cuts, county commissioners agreed to increase the amount of funds they allot to the school system so that no jobs will be eliminated.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Has anyone ever heard of

Video-conferencing?

Our president and other elected officials should learn of this great technology. One can learn the same information and interact with others while in the comfort of their own office.

I suggest that the board audits the past three years of these "vacations" by board members. I recall about twenty years ago, the Bladen County commissioners loaded up for a conference in "Clark County, NV". I looked it up on the map. Guess what? That is Las Vegas! They had us, the taxpayers, thinking that they were going on a fact finding trip to an obscure county in an unknown city.

We send our kids to school to learn the latest in technology, among other knowledge, and guess what? Some elected officials think that they have to be physically present to obtain the knowledge shared by the instructors. This is a different time in the economy. It ain't necessary to be on-site anymore. Plus, we can't afford it.

On-line video conferencing has been available for years but some people still want to waste tax dollars because they CAN!!! I, also, cant wait for the next election.

We have at least one county commissioner who needs to go. Of course, if she can vote in two or more polling locations, she might be able to hold onto her job for the rest of her life. Can't blame her for trying. The voting polls need to be tested? Lame excuse!

How about reasearching the

How about reasearching the last five years and see which board members have taken trips at the expense of the taxpayers? Which administrators?

The three board members that

The three board members that understood finance are all gone. I bet John Clark, Bruce Dickerson and David Edge never took these kind of trips. If Rozier and Cogdell really learned anything why haven't they shared it with the other board members or the administration? I'll tell you. Because it was a pleasure trip paid for by the taxpayers. Need to get some of these other guys to run for office again.

Bladen County School Board

What a bunch of clowns,

1. they allow one board member to cause the best principal they ever had to leave because every single one of them are scared to death of her and won't control the next Dr. Blanks and won't stand up to her
2. they allow the other two blacks to run all over the US on trips with their wifes and spend thousands of dollars and are too scared to do anything about it.
3. they spend 15 thousand dollars to find a new superindentent and only go 15 miles out of the county and guess what, he's black

good going you bunch of dummies can't wait for the next time you put out election signs , you all will have to put on the bottom of the signs::

"""supported by the bladen county naacp"""

The people need to insist

The people need to insist that this type of expense is eliminated. Local government budgets are the only places to start a new wave of frugality in this entire country that MUST start or we will not survive as the country that we were.
After successfully implementing reform at the local levels, then the movement can be expected to proceed to higher and higher levels of government (state, federal).

With advances in technology

Why not stream these conferences on the internet so anyone that really wants to learn from them can just log on instead of logging frequent flyer miles. These conferences seem more like mini vacations at taxpayers expense.

With Advances in Technology

I Agree totoally with why not stream these conferences on the internet so all that want to learn or get their credits can instead of flying out..

Trips by School Boards

All these type trips should be eliminated unless someone wants to pay their own expenses, just like going back to school. They are usually just vacation type perks anyway.

Why do they need to go to

Why do they need to go to California to learn something?

Yes. In CA they could learn

Yes. In CA they could learn how not to do things. Looks like they are putting that training to good use.

Investigations & Reimbursement

Right; that won't likely happen. Unless the charges included personal expenses for family members who tagged along, wht are they going to be required to reimburse?

Ever travel to San Francisco? $225 per night for a hotel room is very reasonable. Meal charges are not specifically listed; but San Francisco is not cheap. So unless they did something stupid like Ruth Chris, or another high dollar venue, not likely.

Poor decision making, perhaps yes. Why travel that far for a conference? Going over budget; likely the budget set in 2010 was unrealistically low.

WWAY -- why not poll other area school boards to determine if any other Counties were represented?

Smell Test

It was rumored that some jobs may be lost? Now all of a sudden the Country commissioners agreed to increase the amount of funds they allot to the school system so that no jobs will be eliminated. Seems they had money that could be used for education but they opted to risk letting some staff lose their jobs rather than making an effort to protect the citizens of Bladen County and preserving education. I guess we are in first place in the "Race To The Bottom" in education except when members of the Board of Education take a feild trip.