Outgoing D.C. school board member Frank Shaffer-Corona (At-Large) says he did not use school system funds to take a trip to Seattle, San Francisco and Miami last month as he had planned. Instead, he says, he went to Grenada, Barbados and Mexico.
Shaffer-Corona, who has charged trips to Cuba and Mexico to the school system in the past and still owes the board $1,900 for phone calls he placed to Iran during the hostage crisis, declined to say specifically if he used school system funds for his latest travels.
However, he called it an "official trip" and said he would submit travel vouchers to the school board before he leaves office Jan. 1.
Last month, Shaffer-Corona was issued an $825 airline ticket, paid for by the school system, after he said he intended to travel to Seattle, San Francisco and Miami to "discuss bilingual education."
He said yesterday he never went to those three cities, but declined to say what he had done with that airline ticket.
One school board administrative official said it would have been possible for Shaffer-Corona to have changed the itinerary of that ticket, even though it is against school board travel rules.
Shaffer-Corona said he met with the officials of the education ministry in Mexico and attended an "international solidarity conference" in Grenada. He also said he spent a day on the beach in Barbados. Shaffer-Corona said the trip took place between Nov. 20 and Nov. 25, to the best of his recollection.
He said he still hopes to get the school system to pay for a trip to San Francisco before he leaves office.
Shaffer-Corona, who finished 12th out of l7 at-large candidates in the Nov. 3 school board election, also said he is considering converting his office at the school board's headquarters into a press room before he leaves office. He said he contributes a column to a Mexican newspaper and, as a journalist, he would not have to move out of his old school board office.