6213P Procedure - Travel and Meal Reimbursement Procedures

Local area is defined as Pierce, King, and Thurston counties.
Out of state is defined as south of Portland, OR and north of Vancouver, BC.
Travel Status is defined as an approved, overnight stay outside the local area as defined above. When unusual circumstances exist, the superintendent or designee may approve an overnight stay in the local area.
Travel Request Forms (staff) must be preapproved by the superintendent for all out of state travel.
Travel Request Forms and field trip application forms (staff with students) must be preapproved by the superintendent and School Board when employees are responsible for students traveling on an overnight field trip for school related purposes other than prescheduled events sanctioned by the W.I.A.A.
All travel requests should align with the district’s core business.
Employees may not make travel arrangements until their travel requests have received all required approvals. Travel must be preapproved by the employee’s immediate supervisor. The supervisor’s approval will be based on whether the travel, workshop, or conference relates to the staff member’s individual job goals, professional responsibilities, or building and district goals.
Employees may be allowed to personally underwrite all or part of their travel expenses as a condition for authorization to travel. 
Whenever possible, travel expenses other than meals must be paid with a district procurement card.
School Board travel expenses will be processed through the office of the Superintendent.
Air travel should be at the lowest fare available or coach class. Ticket purchases must be made with a district procurement card.
Reimbursement for Use of Private Vehicles
Employees required to use their private vehicle for in-district travel may receive blanket approval for the school year. Mileage will be reimbursed for the shortest distance from either home or the normal work site to the destination and return. Mileage claims shall be submitted monthly and shall include dates of travel, starting and ending points, and mileage. When more than one employee is attending the same activity, reimbursement will be provided for only one vehicle unless schedule differences make sharing transportation impractical. When private vehicles are used for travel and standard airfare is less costly than mileage (including travel to and from airports), airfare will be paid in lieu of private vehicle mileage. Mileage will be reimbursed at the rate established by the Internal Revenue Service.
Reasonable lodging expenses must be paid with a district procurement card. Lodging expenses will be paid when verified by an itemized receipt, at the single room rate. If two or more employees share a room, each employee shall submit a copy of the receipt identifying their share of the cost. Additional charges for an employee’s spouse, personal telephone calls, and other personal charges are not reimbursable. 
Registration Fees
Fees must be paid with a district procurement card and supported by an itemized receipt.
Meals – Overnight Travel Status
A. For overnight travel assignments, meals and incidental expenses shall be reimbursed at the per diem allowance established by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) at the rate in effect for the primary destination. Current rates can be found online at www.gsa.gov.
B. Procurement cards shall not be used to purchase meals.
C. Employees will receive seventy-five (75%) of the per diem allowance on the first and last days of travel.
D. Receipts are not required for meals.
E. The per diem allowance is intended to cover the cost of meals, including sales tax and customary tips; baggage handling fees and tips; hotel/motel services; and personal travel expenses (e.g. sightseeing, shopping, etc).
F.  To be reimbursed for meals while attending a conference, a detailed copy of the registration must be attached. Where identifiable costs of meals are included in conference registration fees, the meal costs will be deducted from the employee’s per diem allowance. 
Meals – Local Travel Status
For local travel assignments not involving an overnight stay, actual meal costs shall be reimbursed only in the following circumstances:
  • When a meal taken at workshop, conference, or meeting is an integral part of the agenda and the cost of the meal has not previously been paid with the registration fee. A copy of the agenda and itemized receipt must accompany the employee’s expense claim.
  • When directed or required to attend mealtime business meetings, a copy of the agenda and itemized receipt must accompany the employee’s expense claim. An agenda is not required for community meetings such as Rotary, Kiwanis, and Chamber of Commerce.
  • Procurement cards can be used to purchase meals under the above circumstances.   Itemized receipts are required.
Miscellaneous Expenses                                                                                                      
Miscellaneous travel expenses such as tolls, parking fees, rental cars, and gas for rental cars should be paid with a district procurement card. If reimbursement is required, the request must be supported with an itemized receipt.
Travel claims in any particular year (September 1 to August 31) must be submitted no later than September 15 of the following school year. This is required to ensure the allocation of expenses to the school year in which they occur.
Date: 10/13/09
Revised: 9/14/10; 10/12/10; 8/16/11