Members of the Inglewood, Calif. community were outraged to learn that school district administrators had spent $38,000 worth of public money vacationing at a luxurious hotel and spa — ostensibly for the purpose of discussing strategies for implementing the Common Core standards at schools in the impoverished district.
Later, when the spa trip was uncovered and reported by local news, a veritable army of police officers was dispatched to one of the schools to prevent a protest by angry students.
Cash-strapped Inglewood Unified Schools was taken over by the state of California in 2012 and bailed out to the tune of $55 million. Still, administrators found the money to buy themselves a lavish vacation at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa.
Though the relatively small district includes fewer than 20 schools — and only principals and top administrators attended the spa trip — it still cost $38,000.
The official purpose of the trip was for district officials to discuss Common Core, the controversial and costly national education standards that are currently being implemented in most states, according to CBS Los Angeles. (RELATED: ‘Why are they making math harder?’ More absurd Common Core math problems)
When Inglewood citizens learned about the price tag for the administrators’ posh getaway, they were outraged. So were the students.
“We don’t like the fact that they did this to us,” said one male high school student. “We need books, we need repairs, we need field trips.”
Students at Inglewood High School staged a protest during school hours. About 200 students participated. (RELATED: LA schools give every kid an iPad—what could go wrong?)
The students planned a walkout from their classes. This was immediately worrisome to officials, who asked the police to intervene. Nearly 200 cops from three different agencies showed up to prevent the students from proceeding with their walkout, according to CBS Los Angeles. No arrests were made, and no force was exercised.
Donald Brann, who was appointed by the state to oversee the troubled district, said he sympathized with the students and objected to the spending. However, the hotel had already been booked by the time he found out about it, he said.
Brann did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he has promised a full investigation into the matter.