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District examines student travel dollars

Sun Advocate publisher

Barry Deeter

Carbon School District will soon examine its policies concerning compensation for travel for students and staff who attend national competitions.

"The policy we have is very old," said school board member Barry Deeter during a regular scheduled board meeting last Wednesday. "These amounts need to be reconsidered."

The issue arose when a number of groups requested funding from the district to travel to various national venues for which students at Carbon High had qualified through state competitions.

Those groups included the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) where Michael Crespin, Venyce Martinez, Trisha Munns, Veronica Cazares, Elisabeth Smith and Kelton Wells all won first place in their STAR event at the state level. Also the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) wanted to send Kimbery Lloyd and Pete Yakovich to a national conference, and Carbon students Myka Potter and Mike Tryon to Kansas City, Mo., for the Skills USA Contest since they had won first place in the state in automotive and welding. In addition Scott Potter, another Carbon High student was recently selected to attend the International Science Fair in New Mexico.

The question at hand for a short-staffed board (two members, Ruby Cordova and Wayne Woodward were excused for the evening) was what kind of money to provide to the students and their advisors so they could attend the competitions and conferences without too much personal expense.

The present policy denotes that a student can be given up to $250 for travel for such an event and that advisors can be granted between $250 and $1,000. But the policy was put in place some time ago and all the board members present said they thought the compensation per the policy was too low at the present time.

"We need to look at this," said board president Grady McEvoy. "But we can't do anything about it today because it isn't on the agenda."

The feeling in the room and from the board was that they were thinking in terms of about a 30 percent increase in the allowances. In addition the board said they would also address the problem that the policy basically only supports first place winners while there are other considerations as well. For instance, Yakovich needs to go because he was elected to the state office of reporter for the FBLA, but the policy really doesn't address that. In addition, in some cases, second place finishers are also asked to attend national conferences and the policy does not address compensating them at all.

"I think this is something we need to examine closely," said board member Debbie Blackburn.

The board approved the travel money for all the students and their advisors so that they could make their travel plan, but noted that should they change the policy in the next few weeks, the advisors and students who were approved will be able to come back for more travel expense money should the policy be changed.

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