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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dinsmore elementary spends nearly 12 thousand in title I dollars on a field trip.

On Saturday night I put up a piece that said they were spending 150 thousand dollars on a field trip and that was obviously wrong and for that I apologize.

When I got the tip I reached out to the district and thought they had confirmed above. I was so blown away I asked them to confirm it a second time, but what they actually confirmed was Dinsmore had received 150k in title I funds and was using some of that money on a field trip.

It wasn't till the third time I asked and to their credit the district kept answering, that we got on the same page. Then today they let me know that the school was spending a little less than 12 thousand dollars on the trip.

So again let me apologize, It is never my intent to get things wrong and if I do or anybody thinks I have something wrong, I hope theywill point it out. That being said, I don't feel a whole lot better about them spending just 12 thousand dollars.

I struggled with writing this because I believe these kids deserve a trip like this, especially our poorer kids who rarely if ever get to experience something like this. I just don't think that title I funds should be used in this manner. I believe the money should be used on things that will have a lasting benefit.

Going on a trip is great but you know what the kids really need even though it doesn't sound as fun? Reliable printers with ink and teachers with access to printer paper. Classroom libraries, or a tutor. I think there are so many more things, more important and long lasting, that we could spend the money on. Though I get it, a trip to Lego Land sounds like a blast but we shouldn't think for a second that this is academic enrichment which is what title I funds are supposed to pay for.

This is the type of trip that the school should spend a year fundraising for, going to its business partners, involving the PTA or what the QEA should be paying for rather than Teach for America or an expensive and doomed to fail merit pay scam.  

It's not just Dinsmore either, I hear Southside Estates, Pinedale and numerous other schools are taking title I funds and using them to pay for trips too and where its perfectly legal for them to do so, again I believe there is a better use of our limited funds.

Feel free to disagree.


  1. Title 1 rules are ever-changing and what's allowed one year is not allowed the next. Some years schools can buy paper so teachers aren't restricted to that ridiculous 500 copies a month; the next, paper is a forbidden expense. Some years schools are told to use the funds on field trips; some years they should fund reading interventionists. It's never clear whether the Feds are changing the rules, the State is changing the rules, or the District cannot make up its mind.

  2. Chris...where is try trip to?

  3. Yes, Title 1 rules change. The thing that has stayed the same is that they are to used for academic purposes. I believe the statute reads "supplemental academic instruction." I must have missed the academic instruction at legoland. Good thing they let that principal go after she moved the school . They might have improved even more with her academc focus. ( yes, sarcasm)