An Update on Sheldon Berman’s Travel

A couple days ago we questioned the number of non-work-related boards of director meetings Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Sheldon Berman has attended in the recent past.

We filed an open records request with JCPS and today received a response. Keep in mind, however, that our request did not question any personal travel dates outside of board meetings and didn’t seek to determine the amount of time Berman spends out-of-district on JCPS business.

So let’s take a look at Berman’s travel to non-JCPS board meetings:

  • On Friday, December 14th, 2007 he attended the Campaign for Civic Mission of Schools Steering Committee in Washington, D.C. Meaning he could have traveled to D.C. on the Thursday before missing a total of two days of work for the meeting.
  • On Thursday & Friday, January 10th & 11th, 2008 he attended the National Center for Learning and Citizenship Board meeting in Denver. If he traveled on Wednesday, he missed three days of work.
  • On Monday, May 19th, 2008 he attended the Center for Applied Special Technology Board meeting in Boston. If he traveled back to Louisville on Tuesday, that’s two days of work.
  • On Monday, June 2nd, 2008 he attended the Educators for Social Responsibility Spring 2008 Board meeting in Boston. Back on Tuesday, that’s two days of work.
  • On Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 he attended the National Center for Learning and Citizenship Board meeting in Austin, Texas. If he traveled to Austin on Monday and returned home on Wednesday, that’s three days of work missed.
  • On Thursday, September 25th, 2008 he attended the Center for Applied Special Technology Board meeting in Wakefield, Massachusetts. There on Wednesday, back on Friday = three days of work.
  • And on Thursday, January 22nd he again attended a Center for Applied Special Technology Board meeting in Wakefield. Another possible three days of in-district work missed.

Berman’s office tells us no school district funds were spent on travel. But that’s a total of 18 missed work days for non-JCPS-related meetings. May not seem like a lot to the average person, but that’s 18 days throughout the school year. And some of those missed days ended up costing JCPS money in the form of district-wide contracts for software and services.

If he were any other state employee, Berman would be in a heap of trouble with Ethics and other investigative agencies. So you folks still wanna tell me the appearance of impropriety doesn’t exist?

There’s more to this story, so stay tuned.