My Turn, Your Turn: Field trip to Cali

By Gary McNair - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT ) - The people who run New Hanover County Schools are practicing a new math that quite frankly doesn't add up.

In tough economic times, when administrators and teachers have been to told to tighten their belts, three school board members are going on a five day, four night trip, to sunny and beautiful, San Diego California.

The official reason is to attend the national school board association's annual meeting.  It sounds important.  But is it worth it?

Each plane ticket is about $500; plus $700 for conference registration; plus about $250 each night for night for hotel rooms; throw in a few bucks for incidentals and we're looking at $2500 per member.

Multiply that by 3 and we are spending $7500 of taxpayer money, that in my humble opinion, is completely discretionary.

Why don't we try to teach our kids about economics & fiscal responsibility.  This can be a great lesson on leadership by setting a good example about what responsible people do in tough economic times.  We do without those things we don't absolutely need.

There will be a lot of field trips canceled this year, and the trip to San Diego should be one of them.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Response from viewers:

I received a letter in the mail yesterday informing me that New Hanover county schools did not reach their AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) set by our government. Which means that we have failing schools.

I say we need to get any and all input from other states that are successful. California ranks in the top 5 if not number 1.

By the way, why does our public schools have to have a budget cut back? Where is all the money made by the educational lottery going?


After listening to your opinion on the school board's five members going to San Diego, I was outraged. I do not think our school board is putting the best interests of our children to good use.

I had sent an email to Don Hayes about the schools being open on President's Day. I asked him to please explain to me how the schools are closed for Martin Luther King Day and our founding father's of this country not shown any respect. What are we teaching our children. I did not get a reply from him but I think this is totally wrong.

I am a grand parent but very involved in my grand child's life. I know when I went to school and my children went to school, our schools were closed for Lincoln's birthday and Washington's birthday. Then they merged the days to make it president's day. If I am wrong, please tell me.


Within the school system, we are being told to look at everything and find ways to cut expenses.  Since we have been told that only travel that is  "critical and essential" should be submitted for approval, cancellation of that trip would be a good place to start.