Taxpayers spend at least $59,000 on White Privilege Conference

By Adam Tobias | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — Taxpayers have spent at least $59,000 on the 15th annual White Privilege Conference that was held in March, but the total is likely much higher than reported due to sloppy or incomplete records keeping.

PRIVILEGE COSTS: Taxpayers have spent at least $59,000 on the White Privilege Conference in Madison.

Those public dollars were used to send government employees, teachers and students to the four-day seminar, which planners designed to “dismantle this system of white supremacy, white privilege and oppression.

Total taxpayer expenses are not available at this point because conference officials have not responded to requests to turn over attendance records.

But the largest taxpayer contribution known so far is an $18,375 payment from the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center booking event assistance account, which is comprised of hotel room tax revenue.

The MacIver Institute is reporting the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire spent $16,511 and the Monona Grove School District $13,111.

The cost to send 49 Monona Grove educators was covered by the district’s federal flow-through grant, according to Superintendent Dan Olson.

Other taxpayer entities pitching in include $5,000 from UW-Madison, $3,000 from Madison Area Technical College, $1,840 from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction and $1,500 from the city of Madison.

Close to 40 staff members from Madison attended the conference, but the city cannot tell how much it spent to send those workers to the confab, according to Katie Crawley, spokeswoman for Mayor Paul Soglin.

The Janesville School District also sent 92 students and 12 staff to the seminar with a Safe and Supportive School grant, but school officials have not returned calls or emails seeking the total spending.

Contact Adam at atobias@watchdog.org or follow him on Twitter at Scoop_Tobias

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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