Spence Attended Out-of-Town Conferences Amid Overdose Crisis

Jillian Schneider | June 3, 2024

(The Lion) — A Virginia superintendent spent thousands attending out-of-town conferences while his district was embroiled in a drug crisis, a public records request revealed.

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Aaron Spence spent over a month traveling to various conferences while students were overdosing on fentanyl.

One of the more recent events was the Consortium for School Networking (COSN) conference in Miami, where Spence was also a panelist.  

Public records, obtained by local media, show Spence spent over $2,000 for airfare, hotel, and conference expenses. 

All in all, Spence has attended 10 conferences in locations like Puerto Rico, San Diego, and West Palm Beach, missing at least 24 school days.  

But even while out-of-office, he’s still being paid a salary of $375,000.  

One of these trips even occurred while the district was dealing with a fentanyl overdose crisis. 

LCPS first gained nationwide attention for allowing far-left ideology into the classroom and for covering up the sexual assault of female students by a transgender-identifying male. 

Spence’s predecessor, Scott Ziegler, was fired and indicted in 2022 for his role in the controversy, and citizens eventually voted out the entire school board in one fell swoop.  

Spence was hired in June of 2023 and promised to foster trust and transparency.  

“It will be my goal for day one to ensure we are leading together to build trust, create even greater transparency for our community around the outstanding work of our school division, recruit and retain a world-class team of educators, and leverage the power of relationships with families and stakeholders to strengthen us,” he said in a statement.  

However, critics have questioned whether attending numerous conferences is the best use of taxpayer dollars. 

This article was made available to EdNews Virginia via The Lion, a publication of the Herzog Foundation.