6213 Procedure – Travel Authorization and Expense Reimbursement

I.   Travel Request Procedures

A. Travel within the state of Washington:

1.      Travel requests for staff members must be approved by their immediate supervisor in advance of the travel.

2.      Travel requests for representatives and/or students must be approved by the principal or program supervisor and the assistant superintendent, Teaching and Learning.

B. Travel outside the state of Washington:

1.      If traveling without students: Travel requests for staff members must be approved by their immediate supervisor prior to submission in writing to the superintendent (6213F-1).

2.      If traveling with students: Travel requests for representatives and/or students must be approved by the principal or program supervisor prior to submission in writing to the assistant superintendent, Teaching and Learning and then to the superintendent (2320F-3).

3.      Travel requests shall include reason for the request, anticipated benefit to the district, the length of time involved, and the estimated cost to the district.

II.    Reimbursement

Reimbursement for all travel, except that funded by Associated Student Body funds, shall be made pursuant to the submission of a Travel and Expense Reimbursement Request. The basis for reimbursement will be reasonable actual costs associated with the travel with the exception of meals which will be on a set per meal entitlement basis, unless prior permission has been granted by the director of Business Services for reasonable actual costs.

An individual is eligible for meal per diem and lodging reimbursement only if they are in travel status, outside of Bellingham Public Schools boundaries. (Refer to Section A.1 for more information about qualified lodging expenses.)

All expenses, except meals, must be listed in complete detail, and where required, have receipts attached. Only those expenses incurred by the person submitting the request may be reimbursed.

A. Reimbursable Expenses:

1. Lodging: Travel destinations located within a 50-mile radius of the District Office are not eligible for lodging reimbursement. If the travel destination is further than 50 miles, actual reasonable expense per day will be paid. Itemized receipts are required. Lodging will be reimbursed for district personnel or designate of the district only. If traveling with a spouse, the single room rate must be provided.

2. Meals:

Employees must be in travel status no less than 3 hours to qualify for any meal per diem. In addition, the individual must be in travel status by 6:30 a.m. to qualify for breakfast per diem and in a travel status at 6:30 p.m. to qualify for dinner per diem. Lunch per diem will be allowed if the individual is in travel status over the normal lunch period. Reimbursement for meal expenses is not to be authorized when an employee does not incur expenses for meals because they are furnished, either by the host facility or as a part of the registration fee. Receipts are not required for meal per diem, unless prior permission has been granted by the director of Business Services allowing reasonable actual meal costs. Itemized receipts are required for reimbursement of reasonable actual meal costs.

Meal per diem rates are as follows:

                                                                     Seattle/Spokane

Meal                            Base Rate                   Out-of-State

Breakfast                          $7                                  $9

Lunch                               $9                                $11

Dinner                            $14                                $18

 

Any costs in excess of these amounts are at the personal expense of the individual.

3.     Airline, Train, Bus Fare:

Coach rate. (Canceled ticket serves as receipt.)

4.    Taxi or Limousine to or from Airport:

Actual reasonable expenses per day. Receipts are required.

5.    Parking:

Actual reasonable expense. Receipts are recommended.

6.    Ferry or Toll:

Actual reasonable expense. Receipts are required.

7.    Telephone Calls:

District business-related calls only. Documentation required.

8.    Mileage – Personal car:

Use of a personal vehicle on district business will be reimbursed at the current IRS rate according to district mileage charts.

B.        Non-Reimbursable Expenses:

1.      Alcoholic beverages and meals or snacks other than regular meals.

2.      Personal phone calls and postage.

3.      Mileage to and from home.

4.      Mileage for school levy promotions and other non-official school functions.

5.      Entertainment.

6.      Lodging within the 50-mile radius of the District Office.

 

III.       Associated Student Body Travel:

The Associated Student Body (ASB) must comply with the same rules governing other travel, except as noted below and with the additional requirement of student approval required of all ASB expenditures.

 

A.  Prior Approval of Extended Travel:

Prior approval by the principal is required when employees, representatives, and/or students are traveling outside the “local area” (Whatcom and Skagit counties) with the exception of pre-scheduled league and district events sanctioned by the W.I.A.A. In addition, if the travel involves overnight lodging, except for tournament events sanctioned by the W.I.A.A., prior approval of the assistant superintendent, Teaching and Learning is required. If the travel is out-of-state, prior approval of the superintendent is required.

When prior approval is required, the Approval for ASB/Student Travel form (2320F-3) must be completed, including signatures of the student treasurer and the primary advisor.

A school may advance travel funds from the ASB Imprest Fund if it involves student travel. An ASB voucher form must be prepared, giving complete details regarding the travel. Funds will be advanced to the district employee in charge of the students’ activity.

 

B.  Travel Expense Reimbursement – Employees, Representatives and/or Students:

Travel expenses for employees, representatives and/or students will be claimed as per guidelines established by each school’s ASB. Required information includes the list of students traveling, destination, date, type of activity, and signature of the district employee supervising the travel. All expenses, except meals, must be listed in complete detail with receipts attached.

Reimbursement for meals will be on a flat rate amount as follows:

 

Breakfast         $6

Lunch              $8

Dinner             $10

 

An ASB purchase imprest check will be issued to the individual as reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.

If an advance of travel funds is provided, the individual receiving the funds must submit a reconciliation report to the school ASB business office to account for the advanced funds. This must be done within two (2) days following the completion of the trip.

Receipts are required for all claims, with the exception of meals and personal vehicle mileage.

Adopted: 05/29/07; 06/26/08; 01/09/09; 04/01/15; 08/11/15
Revised: 03/23/16