School district tackles pay for travel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2001

Unapproved travel may soon be a thing of the past for employees of the Natchez-Adams School District.

At the prompting of school board member Camille Jackson, the board plans to draft a policy requiring more trips to receive prior approval from the school board.

Jackson said she became concerned after seeing an itemized list of the trips administrators and principals had taken and the duration and cost for each.

&uot;The board’s not aware of any of these trips because it is not brought before us,&uot; Jackson said.

One department spent $6,000 in travel this year and the board members need the chance to reject trips they view as wasteful, Jackson said.

Especially principals need to spend as many days as possible in their schools so they can assist in instruction, she said.

&uot;I think they take a lot of trips. I think they take too many,&uot; Jackson said.

The board agreed to have Jackson draft a travel policy to present at its next meeting in September.

In other board procedures, Jackson said she wanted to make sure that all salary adjustments – such as when a person is assigned to a new position – are brought before the board for approval.

&uot;Anything that hasn’t been is being paid (illegally),&uot; Jackson said. &uot;Those people – if they got any change in their salary that money is owed back to the district.&uot;

Jackson would not say any specific occurrences where she was sure this had taken place. &uot;I just want to make sure everything we do is legal,&uot; she said.

Jackson said she also wants to make sure all positions that come before the board includes the recommended salaries along with them.

Board member Norris Edney said he wanted the school district to closely monitor its spending and strive not to operate in a deficit. This is especially true as expenses for such items as salaries and new positions continue to increase each year.

&uot;Budgeting has to become a serious matter with this board,&uot; Edney said.