Talbot County Public Schools
Policy Code 4.12
Easton, MD 21601
I. Maryland's Educational Article 4-203 (b), (c) (1) (2) requires the provision and reimbursement of expenses for professional travel and performance of duties.
Talbot County Board of Education hereby adopts the following guidelines for the direction of staff members when traveling on official business for the county.
Staff members, acknowledging the public trust and traveling on official business, will exercise prudence in incurring expenses. Excessive travel an/or other expenses will not be approved. Staff personnel are directed to plan their travel routes so that the minimum amount of travel at the most reasonable rate will be involved, with the maximum amount of visitation, field service, or other professional activities.
A. Routine Travel in County
For travel performed in the routine performance of their duties within Talbot County, staff members will use their own private automobiles. (An exception to the foregoing statement will be the Maintenance Department, where appropriate transportation to the Department will be supplied.)
Staff members will be reimbursed based on the approved Internal Revenue service rate established for that period.
Staff who must travel in the performance of their duties are reimbursed on the basis of a mileage allowance calculated to include the distance from the central office or the base school to the points of professional activity and return to the base. They do not include allowance for travel from home to office and/or base and return.
B. Routine Travel - On Shore/In-State
Staff from Talbot, as with all counties, are called upon in the course of their duties to attend professional meetings from time to time.
All distances are calculated base school to the point of professional activity and return. Distances to fixed points will not exceed those figures on file in the Director of Finance’s office.
C. Conference and Convention Travel
The annual operating budget provides an allowance for the members of the Board of Education and of the Superintendent's staff to attend various national, regional, or state meetings on occasion. Expenses for travel, meals, and lodging are included in this item.
For supervisors and the principals an allowance is fixed each year to provide convention expenses for these personnel.
A similar account is provided for teachers' travel under certain circumstances for these purposes.
D. Specific Expense Guidelines
When travel is by other than private automobile, reimbursement will be granted for travel subject to the following conditions:
1. Surface travel - In addition to the mileage allowance, approval is granted for tolls and parking/storage charges as necessary.
2. Air travel - Approval is for coach fare plus airport bus, limousine, or taxi (whichever is available and reasonable) to and from the airport.
When traveling by commercial carrier, traveling should be by the most direct route available and round trip tickets should be employed whenever possible.
3. Travel note - Personnel who choose to travel out of state to a conference by surface travel when air travel is more economical will only be reimbursed the lesser amount (special permission from the superintendent is required in such cases.)
4. Living accommodations - Whenever possible accommodations should be made through the Finance Office. Selections should be made in the moderate price range.
5. Meals - Selection of meals should be in the moderate price range based upon the prevailing scale of the city being visited. The cost of alcoholic beverages is not reimbursable. The cost of meals which the traveler is expected to attend as a part of the conference or convention may exceed this guideline. (As conference attendance requires hotel accommodations, guidelines similar to attendance in Talbot County hotels should be applicable.)
6. Gratuities - Gratuities, when applicable, should not exceed the standard of the times.
7. Pre-Planning - When possible, all hotel accommodations and travel tickets should be arranged and paid for through the Central Office. Convention registration, fees, and tickets are also included in this category.
8. Payments - At the conclusion of a conference, the traveler should confer with the Director of Finance’s office and on proper forms, provided by his office, supply a listing of all conference related expenses and vouch for same. Payment will be made as early as is reasonably convenient following the travel, and based upon payment dates scheduled by the Director of Finance’s office.
9. Approval as needed - All applications for travel must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the date(s) when the travel is to occur. The submittal must be in writing, supply name and destination of conference, possible housing and travel information, dates, and possible total cost.
Instructional conferences are forwarded through the office of the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, and administrative conferences are forwarded through the office of the Assistant Superintendent for Administration. These offices will approve or reject the request before forwarding to the Superintendent for final action.