Planned travel increase at WCCS raises eyebrow

A proposal to increase the travel budget for staff training at Whitley County Consolidated Schools has drawn the attention of one board member over the necessity to raise the budget line item.Board member Steve Hively questioned why the travel budget for staff training is proposed at $50,000 for the 2011 budget, when this year’s budgeted amount was only $20,000.Tony Zickgraf, business and operations manager for WCCS, said the increase is part of a plan from the central office to bring people to WCCS for training with education staff, rather than send staff elsewhere for training.By not sending staff throughout the state and region, the district will not have to pay for their mileage and hotels.The $50,000 proposed in next year’s budget could still easily be cut by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.“It doesn’t mean that’s how it would end up,” Zickgraf said of the line item.If the district can get grants to pay for staff training, those would also offset the budget line item.Zickgraf said the proposed $50,000 would be used only to train teachers within the district.