Policy 412.1 - Employee Travel and Related Expenses

Revised: May 19, 2015

A. Guidelines:
This regulation provides guidelines for travel by District employees at District expense. It is understood that specific situations may call for more restrictive guidelines.

B. Definitions:
Travel and related expenses include the cost of transportation, meals, lodging and necessary incidental expenses incurred by District employees, while in attendance at or traveling to and from conferences, seminars and workshops or while engaged in other travel in accordance with District policy.

C. Mileage Reimbursement:
District employees traveling in their personal vehicle on District business shall be reimbursed at the IRS rate per mile.

1. Employees shall keep a record of travel from one District building to another and a record of mileage for other travel. A Request for Mileage/Expense Reimbursement form must be completed and submitted for reimbursement within thirty (30) days of the end month in which the expense was incurred.

D. Travel:
Travel may be permitted, with Superintendent/Director of Business Services or administrator/director approval, for District employees under the following conditions:

  1. The purpose of the travel fits with District and/or school goals and/or curriculum.
  2. There is a sufficient balance in the appropriate budget to cover the expenses to be incurred.
  3. Consideration is given to the number of employees, from that particular school and/or department and/or the District, planning to attend the same event.
  4. If the travel involves at least one overnight stay outside the District, the travel request is submitted in writing to the Superintendent/Director of Business Services or employee's administrator/director.
  5. After the travel the employee reports back to his or her supervisor and colleagues.

The Superintendent / Director of Business Services or administrator approving attendance and travel is responsible for determining the reasonableness and necessity of the expense claimed within District policy and has the authority to disallow unreasonable or unnecessary expenses.

E. Airline Travel Credit:

A. Employees utilizing school district funds to pay for airline travel are required to ensure that the credits or other benefits issued by the airline accrue to the benefit of the school district rather than the employee.

  1. To the extent an airline will not honor a transfer or assignment of credit or benefit from the employee to the school district, the employee shall report receipt of the credit or benefit to the designated administrator within 90 days of receipt of the credit or benefit.
  2. Reports of the receipt of an airline credit or benefit shall be made in writing and shall include verification from the airline as to the credit or benefit received. Reimbursement for airline travel travel expenses will not be made until such documentation is provided.

B. Employees who have existing credits or benefits issued by an airline based upon previously reimbursed airline travel for school district purposed will be required to utilize those credits or benefits toward any subsequent airline travel related to school district purposed, prior to reimbursement for such travel, to the extent permitted and/or feasible.

F. Personal Vehicle:

  1. In some circumstances, use of a personal vehicle is preferable to travel by commercial air or some other commercial means (i.e., when the meeting is nearby or where travel arrangements are extremely difficult). Such travel will be reimbursed at the prevailing rate as referred to in section C above.
  2. Transportation to and from conferences or seminars and workshops shall be selected on the basis of that which is reasonable in cost and on the cost basis consistent with comfort, safety and convenience. If the cost of travel by personal vehicle exceeds the cost of coach airfare, the District will reimburse to the extent of the lesser amount.
  3. If more than one person is attending an activity and transportation will be by personal vehicle, the individuals are required to travel together unless there is an extenuating circumstance.

G. Accommodations:

  1. Individuals are expected to select accommodations, when they have an option, at the most reasonable rate. Lodging shall be selected on the basis of reasonable cost in conjunction with comfort, safety and convenience.
  2. Individuals of the same sex attending the same conference are encouraged to share rooms.
  3. When an individual is traveling with a non-employee, the District will reimburse expenses for the employee only.
  4. Receipts are required for all accommodation claims.
  5. Lodging reimbursements are only permitted when traveling 45 miles or more from the district office.

H. Meals:
The maximum reimbursement for meals per person (including tax and tip) is as follows:

In StateOut of State

  1. The District will not reimburse the cost of alcoholic beverages.
  2. Reimbursement will be based upon actual expenditures; individuals must provide documentation (itemized receipts) for meal expenditures.

I. Other Costs:

  1. The District will reimburse registration fees relating to conference, workshop or seminar attendance.
  2. The District will not reimburse for entertainment or recreation costs that are either part of or separate from the conference, workshop or seminar.
  3. Cassettes, special books, etc., which contain the proceedings or are supplementary to attendance at a given conference, workshop or seminar and which are relevant to the employee's purpose for being there may be purchased with the approval of the Superintendent / Director of Business Services or appropriate supervisor.
  4. The District will reimburse a reasonable cost of baggage handling and parking when necessary.
  5. Individuals are expected to select transportation at the conference, workshop or seminar, when they have an option, at the reasonable rate. Transportation shall be selected on the basis of that which is reasonable in cost as consistent with comfort, safety and convenience. Individuals are expected to use conference transportation (i.e., shuttle buses) whenever it is available.
  6. Reimbursement for the use of rental cars by employees is allowed only with prior approval by the Superintendent / Director of Business Services or designee, or in the case of School Board members, by the School Board majority vote. If two or more employees are attending the same conference only one vehicle may be rented.
  7. The District will not reimburse telephone calls for personal or family purposes. When reimbursement is requested for District-related calls, the party called must be noted on the receipt.
  8. Exceptions to allowed travel expenses must be approved by the Superintendent for employees and by the School Board majority vote for School Board members.
  9. The District will not reimburse employees for personal expenses including the following:
    • Room Service
    • Personal Property
    • Child Care Expenses
    • Tobacco / Alcohol

Legal References:

  • Minnesota Statute 15.435, Airline Travel Credit
  • Minnesota Statute 471.665, Mileage allowance

Cross References:

Implementation Date: May 1, 2008
Adopted: April 28, 2009
Revised: November 12, 2013
Revised: May 19, 2015