Professional Development & Conference Attendance Expense Reimbursement | Policy 6161

Attendance at Professional Development Programs/Conferences/Workshops

All District personnel are encouraged to attend professional development programs, conferences, conventions and the like, at District expense and subject to prior administrative approval, for the purpose of professional self-improvement or enhancement of educational services, within budgetary limitations as allocated by the Board of Education. Every effort should be made to submit a request for conference approval at least ten days in advance. Staff should utilize the Conference Request Form (Form #6161F) for this purpose.

Staff members may be allowed to attend professional conferences in certain instances at their own expense if they have prior approval of the Superintendent. Such a request, if approved, must result in no expense to the District, other than the cost of the substitute, and will be at no loss of personal leave time or salary to employees.

After approval of staff attendance at the conference or professional development program, a purchase requisition will be completed by the business office in sufficient time prior to the conference so that the expenditure(s) may be encumbered against the proper code.

A brief written report of the conference should be presented to the principal/immediate supervisor and/or the Superintendent of Schools after the conference, whenever requested.

Within budget limitations, the Superintendent or his/her designee may authorize requests for staff reimbursement of expenses for conference attendance and attendance at other professional development programs, as well as reimbursement of other authorized expenses, in accordance with the terms of this Regulation and upon completion of the Claim Form for Conference Expenses (Form #6161F.1), with receipts attached, upon the staff member’s return.

Travel or conference attendance without prior authorization will be at the participant’s own expense.

In accordance with General Municipal Law Section 77-b, an advance payment may be requested by those staff members duly authorized to attend the professional program, conference, convention and the like for estimated expenditures, for registration fees, travel, meals, lodging and tuition fees provided itemized vouchers showing actual expenditures are submitted after such attendance. To the fullest extent possible, meals, public transportation, lodging expenses, and registration fees will be paid directly by the School District by purchase order.

Rules Relating To All Employee Travel

1) Meal expenses for overnight travel will only be reimbursed based on a per diem rate as outlined below. Expenses for overnight-approved travel will be reimbursed when accompanied by original receipts for lodging and other reimbursable expenses.
a. The United States General Services Administration publishes the per diem meals rates for all major cities in the United States.
b. When completing the Claim Form for Conference Expenses (#6161F.1), contact the Business Office with any questions.
2) All conference travel must have a completed and approved Conference Request Form (#6161F) on file.
3) All reimbursements must be submitted using a Claim Form for Conference Expenses (#6161F.1).
4) When traveling by air, District employees must use the lowest commercial carrier rates available.
5) Travel over 300 miles per round trip must be by public carrier unless it can be demonstrated that automobile travel will be more economical with respect to the following: time involved, the cost of lodging and meals, the existing mileage allowance, and accessibility of the destination by public carrier.

Guidelines for Conference Request and Claim Forms

Conference Request Forms are only to be used by District employees. If there are no expenses to be paid by the District, the Conference Request Form requires only the approval of the principal/designee and does not get sent to the Business Office. The Superintendent/designee approves those travel Conference Requests which have reimbursable employee expense greater than $50.

The principal or Superintendent may impose restrictions to the Conference Request, such as “time only”, meaning the employee has personally incurred all costs of the conference.

The procedures for completing a Conference Request are as follows:

1) Complete all form information. Include a complete budget code.
2) Under “District Prepaid or Billed” list only those expenses that will be paid using a District purchase order.
3) Under “To Be Reimbursed” list only those expenses that will be paid by the employee.
4) For regular local monthly meetings which have a meeting fee ($50 or less), costs can be claimed on the Mileage Report Reimbursement Request. Specific divisions may have additional requirements.
5) Conference Requests that do not require any type of expenditure of District funds may not be required by your supervisor. Each supervisor will establish proper protocol in these cases.
6) Supervisor’s approval is required.

The procedures for completing a Claim Form for Conference Expenses are as follows:

1) All appropriate original receipts must be attached. Reimbursements will not be approved if copies of receipts are used. In circumstances where a personal check or credit card is used, a copy of the check front and back or credit card statement will be acceptable.
2) Only one employee can submit for reimbursement per receipt.
3) Proper types of receipts include:
a. Store register tapes showing the store name, description/date need to accompany a brief description justifying purchase.
b. Invoices with company letterhead listing the employee as the purchaser and stamped paid in full.
c. Copy of front and back of canceled check along with order form or registration form.
d. Conference registration and/or travel receipts that are electronically sent to the District or to the employee will be considered an acceptable original receipt.
e. Itemized hotel or lodging receipts that detail daily room charges are preferred, but receipts not detailing the expenditures by day will be acceptable in the absence of more detailed receipts. A credit card receipt is not sufficient.
f. If a meal receipt includes more than one meal that is being reimbursed, a list of the people included and district name/organization is required.
4) Only mileage and meal limits, per established rates for employee travel, do not require receipts.
5) The complete budget code must be entered, or the claim form will be returned to the Supervisor, which could delay processing.
6) Other expenses could include, but are not limited to, work related telephone costs and conference materials.
7) Entertainment costs will not be reimbursed.
8) Supervisor’s approval is required.

Guidelines for Use of Mileage Report Reimbursement Request

A Mileage Request is to be used for employees only.

The procedures for completing a Mileage Request are as follows:

l) No mileage is allowed between your home and your regularly assigned location.
2) Mileage from home to a work assignment for job related activities after normal working hours is reimbursable.
3) If you travel directly from home to a location other than your regularly assigned location, you must deduct the miles from your home to your regularly assigned location.
4) Original receipts are required when submitting for parking, tolls and other expenses. If you use “EZ-Pass”, submit your monthly statement with the appropriate charges highlighted.
5) Only appropriate budget codes.
6) For regular local monthly meetings which have a meeting fee ($50 or less), costs can be claimed on this form with the appropriate receipts. A division may have additional requirements.
7) Supervisor’s approval is required.

Tax Exempt Status

The District is generally exempt from sales and/or use taxes within New York State. Sales tax may, however, be reimbursed when such costs constitute an actual and necessary expense. Tax exempt forms should be obtained in advance for such items as hotel rooms, car rentals, etc. The School District is not exempt from sales or use taxes outside of New York State, so no deduction would be made in such instances.

Personal Expenses

Personal expenses must be borne by the individual and will be non-reimbursable.

Expense Form/Voucher

Upon return from the conference, workshop, or meeting the employee must, within ten days, file a completed Claim Form for Conference Expenses (#6161F.1). Said voucher must list all reasonable and necessary reimbursable expenses for attendance at the conference, workshop or meeting from which any advanced payment will be deducted, thereby indicating the net amount due to the individual or the balance to be returned to the District. Any balance due will be reimbursed to the School District in the form of a personal check payable to the District.

Adopted: 00/00/0000 – Policy #6570 – District Personnel on Travel Status Conducting Official District Business
Revised: 10/27/2004
Revised & Number Change: 02/22/2016