I have learned that thirteen employees of the Menomonee Falls School District will be attending a social justice conference next week in San Francisco put on by the Carnegie Foundation. The cost is over $34,000 and the conference will be held only days before Menomonee Falls Schools is asking voters to approve a referendum allowing them to raise taxes over the state imposed spending limit.
The conference website, https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/get-involved/events/summitimprovement-education/, says the conference features “dazzling scenery, abundant activities and exquisite food.” It is being held at the tony San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The conference seems long on social justice and short on anything having to do with actual education. The website says the conference will include seminars on “creating an educational system that promotes social justice” and to “explore concrete applications of design thinking in schools” and “develop strategies for achieving large scale social change.”
Superintendent Patricia Greco and 12 other Falls school employees are attending at a cost $1,450 per registrant , $409 for the flight, $570 for lodging and $200 for meals. Greco is a speaker at the conference but says she is not being compensated. Greco, in an email, says the money comes from funds the district is paid for putting on training programs for other school districts. She offered little defense for the content other than to say district employees will be meeting with “researchers and leaders who are working globally on applying improvement science to accelerate improvement in student learning.”
On Tuesday April 4, Menomonee Falls voters will be asked to raise taxes above the state mandated spending limits. Greco and Falls school board members say significant cuts in educational programs will occur if taxes aren;’t raised. In material sent out to residents, district officials have claimed they have extracted all savings possible in their current spending.
The district has been sending employees to the Carnegie conference for years. The Carnegie Foundation is a left-leaning organization linked to liberal educational policies.