Proposed $90K for FCPS ‘Team of Six’ training series raises eyebrows

LEXINGTON, Ky. — In a discussion that may raise eyebrows, the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) Board reviewed a budget of approximately $90,000 for a year-long professional learning plan known as the “Team of Six” training series. The proposal was heard during the planning meeting held on Monday.

The “Team of Six” refers to the collaboration between the school board and superintendent, a partnership that has been touted as essential for fostering successful educational leadership. However, critics may question the necessity of such a costly training program, especially when other pressing educational needs exist.

Comprehensive Training Program or Costly Experiment?

The training series consists of five sessions, with the first scheduled for September 8-9, 2023. While the program aims to cover leadership enhancement, team-building activities, communication skills development, and more, some may wonder if the investment aligns with the district’s immediate priorities.

Investment Details: A Closer Look

The proposed budget for the training series is $84,600, subject to change. The investment includes travel, accommodations, venue, meals, and five sessions with consultants. The decision to hold the first session at an out-of-town location, possibly Natural Bridge State Park, may further fuel concerns over spending.

Strategic Alignment or Misalignment?

While the training series is said to align with the district’s five strategic priorities, questions may arise about the timing and focus of this initiative. Is the district diverting funds from more urgent educational needs? Are there more cost-effective ways to achieve the same goals?

Expected Outcomes: Will They Deliver?

FCPS anticipates strengthened leadership, enhanced collaboration, a unified vision, effective decision-making, and improved engagement with stakeholders. However, the tangible impact of such a training series remains to be seen, and the community may demand clear accountability and measurable results.

Scrutiny of Spending Priorities

This decision comes at a time when FCPS spending priorities have come under scrutiny. Critics argue that the district should be focusing on more pressing issues such as classroom resources, teacher salaries, and student support services. The approval of the “Team of Six” training series may add fuel to the ongoing debate over how FCPS allocates its funds.

Photo: The front of Lafayette High School in the summer of 2019. (Daniel C. Hodges \ Wikimedia Commons)