TRAVEL OVERVIEW

There are two types of employee travel: • • In-district travel which is travel within the boundaries of the Houston Independent School District or Out-of-district travel which is travel outside the district’s boundaries and can occur on a single day or can include an overnight stay. IN-DISTRICT TRAVEL In-district travel is defined as travel within the boundaries of the district and is paid on a reimbursement basis or through the approval of an automobile allowance. Automobile allowance levels are defined in the District’s Compensation Manual which is approved annually by the Board of Education. There are no per diems allowable with in-district travel. Designated personnel shall receive a monthly automobile allowance or actual mileage expense in accordance with the following guidelines: • • • Prior approval is not required for in-district travel, but the administrator over the budget has to authorize the travel. The District shall reimburse employees for official school business mileage driven, at the reimbursement rate set forth by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. All employees will use the monthly travel report form in submitting mileage claimed for reimbursement.

OUT-OF-DISTRICT TRAVEL Out-of-district travel is defined as the cost of transportation, meals, lodging, and other expenses associated with students or employees traveling for official district business, conferences or professional development. The cost of employee travel also includes any registration fees associated with attending conferences, including seminars, inservice training, etc. There are four types of out-of-district travel which are subject to the District’s travel guidelines. Essential Business Travel Essential business travel is defined as out-of-district travel that is required to conduct official District business, excluding conferences and professional development. Employees should request approval for business travel as early as possible to allow for discounted rates from early reservations.

Conference/Professional Development Travel

Conference/professional development travel is business travel that is being taken to provide professional development opportunities for employees. Conference/professional development travel requests must contain all the necessary approvals and be received by the Travel Department at least thirty (30) days prior to the anticipated departure date. This will allow for discounted rates from early reservations. Approved travel requests received by the Travel Department within less than thirty (30) days of the departure date will only be processed on a reimbursement basis. The request will be returned to the traveler, the traveler will have to make their own travel arrangements, and seek reimbursement upon completion of the travel. Reimbursement rates for airfare are limited to the fare which would have been available 21 days in advance of the anticipated departure date. A program agenda that includes documentation of the registration fee must be attached to the travel request for payment of the registration fee/hotel etc. Student Travel Student travel is those travel opportunities which allow our students to attend state or national competitions, or which are related to student activity groups. Student travel is generally paid from student activity funds, although other funding sources may be used. The Travel Department will handle the travel arrangements for student travel. In the case of large student group travel, the arrangements may be handled through the district’s travel agency. International Travel Travel outside of the contiguous United States must be handled through the district’s travel agency. Approved travel requests must be received by the Travel Department at least thirty (30) days prior to the anticipated departure date. If budget reductions become necessary, staff professional development and/or conference trips must be postponed. During such times, only essential business travel shall be approved. Travel expenses must conform to IRS and OMB Circular A-87 regulations, which are defined under this policy. Pre-Trip Procedures Employees approved to travel must complete a travel requisition in the District’s financial system-SAP in advance for the estimated expenses associated with the travel. A separate requisition must be entered into SAP for each employee traveling. Personnel desiring to pay their own travel expenses or to have their expenses paid by another agency or organization must receive prior approval from the Superintendent or one of the Superintendent’s direct reports.

Employees cannot accept travel paid by vendors as it would be a violation of the district’s ethics policies for employees. Cancellation charges will be reimbursable only if cancelled due to a HISD businessrelated reason. All unused or cancelled airfare tickets must be returned immediately to the Travel Department. Post-Trip Procedures All employees must complete their travel reimbursement request in SAP within ten (10) business days of completing travel. Accounts Payable will notify the traveler as soon as possible of any error that would prevent payment within ten (10) business days after submission and will provide the reason(s) why the travel reimbursement claim is not proper. The District will reimburse you within ten (10) business days after you submit a proper travel reimbursement claim to Accounts Payable. One report for several employees will not be accepted.