Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fox C-6's Regulations and Rules on Professional Development Expense Reimbursement

Fox C-6 has had a policy on Professional Development Expense Reimbursement that was originally adopted in November 1998. That policy became effective July 1999. The policy was around for years before former superintendent Dianne Critchlow began her stint as superintendent in 2005.

After reviewing Fox's credit card statements, it's very clear that Central Office Administrators weren't following Fox's Policy/Regulation with respect to Airfare, Meal Allowance and Lodging limits.

Aren't they supposed to follow the same policies that everyone else is expected to follow?

What are the limits as documented in our District's Policies and Regulations?

Maximum Airfare Allowance Limits - $250

It might be difficult to fly to many places for less than $250. But, that IS the limit that is documented in Fox's current Policies and Regulations. Former superintendent Critchlow should have been reviewing district Policies and Regulations and revising them more often with the school board rather than violating them. She's been trying to revise district policies for years but never got that task accomplished. As you can see below, the reimbursement regulation hasn't been revised since 2005.

The $605 and $541 airfares for Dianne Critchlow, Jamie Critchlow, Dan Baker and Angie Baker for their trips in 2012 and 2013 far exceeded Fox's Maximum Airfare Allowance.

Meal Allowance - ($40 out of town or $12 locally per day)

Those $362 and $775 dollar meals also far exceeded the $40 per day limit for out of town workshops. Even Dianne Critchlow's local meals listed on her charge card as Professional Development exceed the "local meals"limit of $12 Per Day Meal Allowance as documented in the district's Policies and Regulations.

The District WILL NOT pay for alcohol.

According to Fox C-6 Regulation 4410.2, the district WILL NOT pay for alcohol. Hopefully, the receipts for meals will be provided for those out of town charges on our superintendent's and assistant superintendent's credit card statements. Do you think their high dollar amounts could have included alcohol on them?

Nightly Lodging Limits - ($110 per night)

It appears from the release of Fox's credit card data that former Superintendent Dianne Critchlow, Assistant Superintendent Dan Baker and Assistant Superintendent Todd Scott also exceed the $110 per night policy quite often.

Policies and Regulations were in place for our district. It's just that Fox's school board wasn't verifying and enforcing those Policies and Regulations.

Perhaps if Fox's school board had been reviewing the district credit card statements, they may have taken away our superintendents' credit cards years ago and the community wouldn't be as outraged like they are now after learning about their abuse of taxpayer dollars.

UPDATED 2013-2014 VISA Card Statements!
Received an actual copy of Fox C-6's 2013-2014 VISA Card Statements which contains more charges than previously posted online from a printed report. The statements contain much more information than the simple report provided previously:

2009-2010 VISA Card Statements
Received more VISA Credit Card Statements from the district. The 2009-2010 statements document more local and out of town meals paid for with taxpayer money as well as the usual travel to Tan-Tara-Resort at Osage Beach, MO. Not all of the airfare was paid on the VISA cards so that information will have to be gathered most likely from the DISCOVER CARD statements. Would definitely like to see the receipt for Dick's Sporting Goods for $448.27 on June 1, 2010.

There's a charge to a fairly pricey restaurant in Des Peres, MO called McCormick & Schmick's. You can find their menu online.

Lot's more Panera Bread charges as well!

Then there's the start of the charges in January 2011 at Doug's Burger Bar/Cowboy in Imperial, MO.

Below is Fox's Regulation from the district website for Professional Development Expense Reimbursement.

Professional Activities, Training and Professional Growth

PDC Expense Reimbursement

Registration Fees: Fees for an out-of-district professional development activity are to be paid by the participant. Reimbursement will be made after the participant completes the activity and processes a reimbursement request. Participant must complete a check request form with all original receipts attached.

Mileage: Mileage is reimbursed at the rate as authorized by the IRS (IRS authorized reimbursement can change throughout the year, the district will reimburse whatever was the approved rate at the time of travel). Standard mileage allowances for travel will be determined by Map Quest. Employees are expected to ride together when traveling to the same conference.
Employees may make arrangements to use school vehicles if so desired and they are available.

The following are standard mileage allowances within the state:

Cape Girardeau         100/200 RT
Chicago                     320/640 RT
Cincinnati                  370/740 RT
Columbia                   135/270 RT
Jefferson City            125/250 RT
Kansas City               275/550 RT
Knob Knoster            150/300 RT
Lake of the Ozarks    175/350 RT
Springfield                 215/430 RT

Airfare: Airfare allowances are $250.00 maximum. If multiple staff chooses to use airfare in lieu of riding together, airfare allowances will be capped at the rate of mileage designated and divided by the number of staff using airfare.

Meal Allowance: Meal reimbursement will not exceed $40.00 per day for out of town workshops. The district will pay $12.00 per day meal allowance for local professional development activities. The district will not pay for alcohol, and gratuities will not exceed 15% of the meal cost. Original receipts must be attached for reimbursement of expenses.

Lodging: Nightly hotel expense will be determined at a rate not to exceed $110.00 per night. It
is expected that employees will share a room when attending the same conference when possible. Employees attending the same conference will only be reimbursed for the cost of one double room, which could be shared. Staff members who desire a private room when multiple employees are attending the same conference will not be reimbursed any lodging expenses.


Adopted: 11/98
Effective: 07/99

Revised:  06/02, 09/04, 09/05
Effective: 07/02, 09/04, 09/05