Board Policy 7180

Board Member Expenses

  • Board Member Compensation Prohibited

    School Board members provide volunteer service to the community and may not receive compensation for services, except that a Board member serving as the Board Secretary may be paid an amount up to the statutory limit if the Board so provides.


    Roll Call Vote

    All Board member expense requests for travel, meals, and/or lodging must be approved by roll call vote at an open meeting of the Board.


    Regulation of School District Expenses

    The Board regulates the reimbursement of all travel, meal, and lodging expenses in the District by resolution. No later than approval of the annual budget and when necessary, the Superintendent will recommend a maximum allowable reimbursement amount for expenses to be included in the resolution. The recommended amount should be based upon the District’s budget and other financial considerations.

    Money shall not be advanced or reimbursed, or purchase orders issued for: (1) the expenses of any person except the Board member, (2) anyone’s personal expenses, or (3) entertainment expenses. Entertainment includes, but is not limited to, shows, amusements, theaters, circuses, sporting events, or any other place of public or private entertainment or amusement, unless the entertainment is ancillary to the purpose of the program or event.


    Exceeding the Maximum Allowable Reimbursement Amount(s) (MARA)

    All requests for expense advancements, reimbursements, and/or purchase orders that exceed the maximum allowable reimbursement amount set by the Board may only be approved by it when:

    1. The Board’s resolution to regulate expenses allows for such approval;
    2. An emergency or other extraordinary circumstance exists; and
    3. The request is approved by a roll call vote at an open Board meeting.



    The Board may advance to its members actual and necessary expenses to be incurred while attending:

    1. Meetings sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education or by the Regional Superintendent of Schools;
    2. County or regional meetings and the annual meeting sponsored by any school board association complying with Article 23 of the School Code; and
    3. Meetings sponsored by a national organization in the field of public school education.

    Expense advancement requests must be submitted to the Superintendent or designee on the Board’s standardized estimated expense approval form.


    After spending expense advancements, Board members must use the Board’s standardized expense reimbursement form and submit to the Superintendent: (a) the itemized, signed advancement voucher that was issued, and (b) the amount of actual expenses by attaching receipts. A Board member must return to the District any portion of an expense advancement not used. If an expense advancement is not requested, expense reimbursements may be issued by the Board to its members for the activities listed in numbers one through three, above, along with registration fees or tuition for a course(s) that allowed compliance with the mandatory trainings described in policy 7170, Board Member Development and other professional development opportunities that are encouraged by the School Code (see the Reimbursements and Purchase Orders subhead, below). Expense advancements and vouchers shall be presented to the Board in its regular bill process.


    Reimbursements and Purchase Orders

    Expense reimbursement is not guaranteed and, when possible, Board members should seek pre-approval of expenses by providing an estimation of expenses on the Board’s standardized estimated expense approval form, except in situations when the expense is diminutive. When pre-approval is not sought, Board members must seek reimbursement on the Board’s standardized expense reimbursement form. Expense reimbursements and purchase orders shall be presented to the Board in its regular bill process.


    Credit and Procurement Cards

    Credit and procurement cards shall not be issued to Board members.


    Standardized Expense Form(s) Required

    All requests for expense advancement, reimbursement, and/or purchase orders in the District must be submitted on the appropriate itemized, signed standardized form(s). The form(s) must show the following information:

    1. The amount of the estimated or actual expense, with attached receipts for actual incurred expenses.
    2. The name and office of the Board member who is requesting the expense advancement or reimbursement. Receipts from group functions must include the names, offices, and job titles of all participants.
    3. The date(s) of the official business on which the expense advancement or reimbursement will be or was expended.
    4. The nature of the official business conducted when the expense advancement or reimbursement will be or was expended.


    Types of Official Business for Expense Advancements, Reimbursements, and Purchase Orders

    1. Registration. When possible, registration fees will be paid by the District in advance.
    2. Travel. The least expensive method of travel will be used, providing that no hardship will be caused to the Board member. Board members will be reimbursed for:
    • Air travel at the coach or economy class commercial airline rate. First class or business class air travel will be reimbursed only if emergency circumstances warrant. The emergency circumstances must be explained on the expense form and Board approval of the additional expense is required. Copies of airline tickets must be attached to the expense form.
    • Rail or bus travel at actual cost. Rail or bus travel costs may not exceed the cost of coach airfare. Copies of tickets must be attached to the expense form to substantiate amounts.
    • Use of personal automobiles at the standard mileage rate approved by the Internal Revenue Service for income tax purposes. The reimbursement may not exceed the cost of coach airfare. Mileage for use of personal automobiles in trips to and from transportation terminals will also be reimbursed. Toll charges and parking costs will be reimbursed.
    • Automobile rental costs when the vehicle’s use is warranted. The circumstances for such use must be explained on the expense form.
    • Taxis, airport limousines, or other local transportation costs.
    1. Meals. Meals charged to the School District should represent mid-fare selections for the hotel/meeting facility or general area, consistent with the maximum allowable reimbursement amount set by the Board. Tips are included with meal charges. Expense forms must explain the meal charges incurred. Alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.
    2. Lodging. Board members should request conference rate or mid-fare room accommodations. A single room rate will be reimbursed. Board members should pay personal expenses at checkout. If that is impossible, deductions for the charges should be made on the expense form.
    3. Miscellaneous Expenses. Board members may seek reimbursement for other expenses incurred while attending a meeting sponsored by organizations described herein by fully describing the expenses on the expense form, attaching receipts.


    Additional Requirements for Travel Expenses Charged to Federal and State Grants

    All Board member expenses for travel charged to a federal grant or State grant governed by the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act must comply with Board policy 4110, Expense Reimbursement, and its implementing procedures. Travel expenses include costs for transportation, lodging, meals, and related items.