Dozens of West Jessamine High School baseball supporters saw the team’s 2013 spring-break trip approved at Monday’s school-board meeting after some worries about the costs to parents.
The eight-night trip to Vero Beach came in under the Jessamine County Board of Education cost limit of $100 per student per day without accounting for transportation. Players’ parents had committed to transporting their children since they would be driving anyway, eliminating the need for a charter bus.
Board member Hallie Bandy had questioned the figures at an Oct. 8 work session, saying estimated transportation expenses should be included when calculating the cost of a trip. At Monday’s work session before the board meeting, superintendent Lu Young presented the board with a possible change that would require more detailed costs, including transportation expenses assuming travel by school bus, district van, charter bus or plane, in the calculation for overall trip cost.
The crowd of West baseball parents filled the board room when the meeting started at 7 p.m. In the audience-communication portion of the meeting, booster treasurer David Beckley and school principal Ed Jones — both of whom have boys on the team — spoke to the board in favor of the trip, asking why the same trip that had been approved last year was being questioned again.
Beckley came out swinging, citing a statement by Bandy at the work session that the trip involved “funny math,” calling it an “untrue statement” and a “reckless accusation.” Bandy did not speak about the trip during the meeting other than to say just before the vote that she still wanted to see the cost of an “all-inclusive trip” and to vote “yes” along with her fellow board members in the unanimous approval. Prior to the meeting during the work session, she said she thought the context of her earlier statement had been misunderstood.
The new calculation for future trips would include a cost figure made up of lodging, transportation, three meals a day and any other required fees, with that cost figure divided by the number of days to come up with the per-day, per-student cost. The current only requires one figure — the total cost per student.