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Allegheny Valley School Board debates merits, costs of out-of-state conferences

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, 8:57 a.m.

The Allegheny Valley School Board was about to get into a debate about the costs and merits of out-of-state conferences when they realized no one on the board wanted to go to one anyway.

The school directors were considering allowing any board member to attend the National School Boards Association's conference and exposition, scheduled for April 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas.

The approximate cost per-person would have been $740 for registration, plus $400 for airfare and $225 per night for lodging, plus meal reimbursement.

Board members Donald Rocco and Elizabeth Moretti raised concerns about the costs and benefits of the junket.

Rocco said that, in theory, all nine school directors could choose to go. He said it wouldn't be worth the district's money and called for placing a limit on how many could attend.

Also citing budget concerns, Moretti said state and local conferences are better, adding that she didn't see the need to send anyone to Texas.

The school directors also began discussing what should be expected of its members returning from such trips, as far as what information they bring back for the rest of the board members.

Newly installed board President Nino Pollino brought the discussion to an end. He asked if anyone was interested in going — to which no one responded.

This is not the first time that conferences have been a point of debate among the school directors.

In September, the board voted 5-4 to send three — Annetta Jursa, Sal Conte and Kathy Haas — to a school leadership event in Hershey in October, even though all three were leaving office in December following this year's election.

The value of their attendance was questioned because they would likely be leaving the board, which they did.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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