Your Stimulus Dollars at Work: Giving Columbus, Ohio Teachers Days Off For Workshops at Fancy Hotels & Convention Centers


From the Columbus Dispatch:

In a three-day effort to teach its teachers, the district is renting banquet halls, high-end hotels and conference centers—using almost $145,000 in federal grant dollars.

Many schools also will be used as sites for workshops, but the external locations were needed because sessions will go on all day and cafeteria benches would have been uncomfortable, spokeswoman Kim Norris said. Also, classroom desks might have been too small for adults, she said.

The district will pay up to $8,000 to rent Villa Milano, a marble-clad banquet hall with enough "classic elegance" that "you will think you have been transported to a romantic Italian Villa," according to the hall's Web site.

Bonus for parents who are out of work and so can just hang out with their kids: School will be canceled on the days that "all district educators" gather around to learn "about the college-admissions process and the SAT and ACT exams" and other topics. A district spokesperson said the district had to rent outside spaces because 4,000 people would be attending various sessions and the district's own buildings couldn't handle that sort of crowd. According to the Dispatch's report, no single session will have more than 250 people attending.

The Columbus School District has over 64,000 students. I wonder where they hide them all when the Villa Milano is booked.

Whole tale here.

Hat tip: Veronique de Rugy, Reason columnist, Corner blogger, and Mercatus Center economist.