Check here for delays and closings

Hartford Schools Superintendent issues ban on out-of-state travel after $61K Miami trip

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARTFORD - The Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools is issuing a temporary ban on most out-of-state travel for school employees.

This moratorium was implemented after dozens of educators took a trip to Miami earlier this month for the Magnet Schools of America Conference.

“What was an opportunity for celebration in receiving the Magnet Schools of America Donna Grady-Creer District Award for Magnet Sustainability has instead revealed a flaw in our travel approval process,” said Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez in a memo to staff.

Financial documents obtained from the school system show 33 educators attended the conference in Miami. Coincidentally, school leaders were meeting with parents at a board meeting about the district’s budget crisis on the day educators flew down for the conference.

The fees for attending the conference totaled $24, 057. Airfare for the nearly week-long trip added up to $12,004 and hotel costs in downtown Miami totaled $ 25,214.

So far, the school system’s bill is more than $61, 000. The teachers and principals who attended will be reimbursed for food and other travel-related expenses.

In response to the South Florida trip, Narvaez said it was “also clear that there was no need for such a large presence.”

The district’s superintendent is also ordering that all pre-approved travel be reviewed immediately, while they come up with a new procedure and policies for approving future out-of-state travel.

Only travel deemed essential will be permitted until further notice.

“Essential travel is limited to the following: travel that is necessary to maintain academic accreditation; required professional development in support of the core academic program of our schools and the district; or required travel by a granting institution necessary to maintain funding. In all cases, travel will be reviewed and approved by the Chief School Improvement Officer and the Chief of Staff,” said Narvaez.