Inside Our Schools

May 13, 2013 2:57 PM

Fayette County Superintendent Plans Changes After LEX 18 Investigation

Less than a week after LEX 18's investigation into the conduct and activities by school administrators in Fayette County's Department of Special Ed, Superintendent Dr. Tom Shelton, back from a recent educational trip to Australia, talked specifics about a new code of ethics for administrators.

Our stories highlighting some of the behavior during those "professional development trips" have created quite a buzz around the district, and it's not the kind of perception the superintendent wants. In our investigation, we learned special ed personnel got special perks. Facebook postings and pictures called into question the actions by some special ed administrators and staff. As a result, the superintendent is making it a priority to establish a specific code of ethics for administrators so there's no question about what's acceptable behavior.

"We don't want to see these types of email exchanges, social media usage," said Dr. Shelton. "This type of behavior with people missing conferences or doing other types of inappropriate behavior."

Since our story, some viewers, taxpayers, question the benefit of these out of state conferences. Many wonder whether the training and information is making its way back to the classroom.

In the future, Dr. Shelton says he wants employees required to submit reasons in writing why they need to attend a conference, then show proof of their attendance. "Here's how that work affects my and my job," said Dr. Shelton of the new guidelines. "How the info will be used in my job, and how i will pass along the knowledge to begin with."

And after a trip, Shelton plans to require a written plan for how the information is shared with staff.

As for the superintendent's own travel for conferences, he just returned from Australia for the state commissioner of education for a global educational leadership program, paid by the Gates Foundation. Administrators from a dozen countries attended to share teaching and training ideas.

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