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Cap set for travel reimbursements

The city's School Board set a cap Thursday on the amount of money that board members and district employees will be reimbursed for meals and incidental expenses when they travel out of town overnight on school business.

The amount of the cap varies from city to city, but it is based on the daily rate set by the U.S. General Services Administration.

Although figures for various destinations were not immediately accessible Thursday night, School Superintendent Cynthia A. Bianco explained that the reimbursement levels are based on the cost of living in the cities.

The new policy replaces the method of paying for meals and incidentals based on receipts submitted by those making the trips. Receipts no longer are required, because the traveler will receive the daily rate regardless of how much is spent.

Bianco said the policy applies only to food and incidentals, while a similar cap on reimbursement for travel and lodging would be considered later.

Board President Russell J. Petrozzi and board member Arthur L. Jocoy Jr., who is serving his first term on the board, voted against the new policy. The vote was 6-2, with board member Don King excused from the meeting at that time.

Petrozzi stressed that he was not opposed to setting a cap on expenditures, but he felt that the policy should be even tighter. He said personnel should be reimbursed only for the amount they actually spend if it is less than the allowable daily amount.

As an example, he said, a person who spends $50 on food and incidentals should be reimbursed only $50 even if the allowable amount in that city is $70.

In other business:

*Darlene R. Sprague, administrator for information services, submitted a report showing that today's electronically sophisticated classrooms definitely are not like those of previous generations. She described equipment that eventually could enable parents and others to monitor students' performance in real time from home or other places. In addition, she said, it could let teachers check students' work without collecting their papers.

*Dozens of certificates of recognition were presented to outstanding music students who completed auditions for all-county and all-state performance groups, as well as to those who were selected to perform with those groups. Angela M. Frommert, an instrumental music teacher and band director, was chairwoman of the presentation program.

e-mail: rbaldwin@buffnews.com

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