The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Spotsy revises expense policy
By PAMELA GOULD
The Spotsylvania School Board approved a revision to its expense policy Monday to allow more than two people to attend conferences in the future.
Board member Ray Lora, who cast the sole vote against the change, asked that the superintendent begin providing a monthly report on the board’s travel expenses.
The board agreed to that change and incorporated it into the revision. It also agreed to Lora’s other suggestion that the School Board approve all requests to attend training in advance of attendance.
The board also revised the policy so that the board must approve all reimbursements instead of having them reviewed by the division’s chief financial officer alone.
Lora disagreed with spending more money on board training when the division faces a $7.9 million gap in funding for its next budget. He said he wanted to prioritize spending on students and staff.
Board member Dawn Shelley, who has carefully researched school spending since before her election, said that by state law, board members must attend training annually.
The current policy was revised nine months ago after the board became aware that long-term Chairman Gil Seaux had been asking the division to reimburse him for round-trip travel between his home and the administration building.
The policy passed in March was to be reviewed in a year but the timeframe was advanced because of legislative training in January, board Chairwoman Linda Wieland said.
The policy revisions approved in a 6-1 vote Monday night must be approved in a second vote before they go into effect. The second vote is expected at the board’s first meeting in January.
Board Vice Chairman Jim Meyer said he saw board member training as a priority to properly prepare members to oversee the division’s $257 million budget.
Board member Amanda Blalock said she keeps the 24,000 students as her priority and considers board training essential preparation to make wise and informed decisions that impact those students.
Lora concluded his statements by calling it a “philosophical difference” with his colleagues.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972