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updated: 8/8/2012 10:04 PM

Grayslake Dist. 46 addresses board member travel

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Some Grayslake Elementary District 46's elected officials Wednesday night discussed whether specifics are needed in a policy governing board member travel.

At a previous meeting, board members Michael Carbone, Kip Evans and Shannon Smigielski complained about not knowing two of their colleagues traveled to a National School Boards Association conference in Boston from April 21 to 23.

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District 46 board members Karen Weinert and Susan Facklam attended the Boston convention. While past public discussion indicated district taxpayers covered more than $1,930 in Embassy Suites hotel bills for Facklam and Weinert, the women have said they paid their own airfares to Boston.

Smigielski said at Wednesday's meeting the district should have a policy banning conference travel for a board member in the last year of a term. She questioned how much value District 46 would receive paying for an official to attend a convention and then not get re-elected.

"Any money we have should be going to the staff and the students," Smigielski said.

Facklam said she was in the position of traveling for the district in the last year of a term but promised she'd repay her expenses if she wasn't re-elected. She suggested a travel policy allow for the district to pay convention fees and hotel bills for board members, but that the elected officials should be on their own for airfare and other expenses.

School district administrators and board members from across the suburbs attended the Boston convention in April. Along with District 46, others on the National School Boards Association list included Stevenson High School District 125 in Lincolnshire, Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge.

Longtime Stevenson board member Merv Roberts was scheduled to lead a presentation on how to save money, energy and the environment while educating students and engaging the community on sustainability.

Workshops and presentations included "Ethical Leadership in an Unethical Society" and "Blowing Your Own Horn: Effective Ways of Promoting Your School District to Capture Funding."

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