4
| News |

Who Are the Latest Public Employees Going on Vacation at "Training" Resorts on the Taxpayer Dime? Arizona Teachers

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

When are they going to get it?

In what is becoming a sickening trend, Arizona teachers are now the latest group to use and abuse taxpayer money to pay for lavish vacations under the veil of "training seminars."

In July, hundreds of teachers from across Arizona, some of whom even brought their families on the taxpayers dime, spent six days at two of Tucson's finest four-star resorts, the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (pictured), and the Westin LaPaLoma Resort, for "training seminars."

The average cost for each of the 1,200 teacher was roughly $1,600, and the money came from guess who? The taxpayer.

Tom Horne, superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education, who is usually one of the most accessible public officials in Phoenix, conveniently declined comment today, but says in an email it was paid for with all federal money, including a Carl D. Perkins grant, which requires that part of the money be used for training.

 Carl D. Perkins probably didn't think that the "training" would occur at a place with the word "resort" in its title.

There were several training sessions held at the resorts, but many of the teachers opted to lounge by the pool rather than attend.

"I felt guilty because the one [class] I paid for yesterday was $40," one teacher caught at the pool told ABC15.com.

Her guilt stemmed from the fact that her district gave her $900 to spend on training classes. She then admitted that while she paid for the class, she didn't even go to it.

"It sends a horrible message," says John Huppenthal, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. "How in the world could they think this was appropriate to go to a four-star resort?"

Teachers need training, especially here in Arizona, where the education system is the laughing stock of the country (though Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississipp make us look good).

If the true purpose of the retreat is to train people, why not do it somewhere with a few less distractions. There is a gorgeous Comfort Inn in Mesa; conference room and all, that would probably love to have them. Oh sorry teachers, no pool. Shucks!  


Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.