Professional Development Funds

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Table of Contents

On-line Course Request System

The course request and approval process is now available on-line.  The new web interface will replace the current paper form and process. A link to the online form will be available only for employees after they log into the Central Office website. The new on-line form is designed to streamline the course approval process and provide both employees and their supervisors with immediate access to professional development history.

Current Rates

The Professional Development Fund benefit (for those employees who qualify) is based on the UVM fall in-state tuition rate as outlined below.

2015-16 Benefit Year: $611/credit

2016-17 Benefit Year: $629/credit

Benefit Year

The benefit year for Professional Development Funds (formerly called tuition reimbursement) is consistent with the contract year – July 1 through June 30. In other words, any course that begins on or after July 1 and ends on or before June 30 will be applied towards the corresponding contract year’s available professional development funds. If the course begins in one contract year and ends in another (e.g. begins 6/29 and ends 7/8) the cost shall automatically be applied towards the professional development funds of the contract year in which the course ends.

Covered Expenses

Consistent with the provisions of the master agreements, teachers and support staff can only use professional development funds to cover the cost of the registration fees (for conferences/workshops/seminars) or tuition (for college courses). Related expenses such as books, materials, lab fees, comprehensive fees, membership dues,  travel, lodging, meals, etc. are not subject to reimbursement.    Please refer to your applicable master agreement for more information.  Course requests for conferences or other activities that include meal, lodging, technology device or other non-covered expense MUST include documentation with a breakdown of the charges and a description of the activity.

Technology Related Courses

When registering for a technology related course in which a device (e.g., iPad, mini) is provided, please be sure to check the registration form carefully.  Professional Development funds can only be used to cover tuition or registration fees associated with the professional development activity, and cannot be used to cover the cost of the device itself when there is a separate, optional cost relative to receiving this device.  If the workshop or course is offered for one set registration fee that covers the cost of the device (e.g., comes with a “free” device) and there is not a separate/optional fee associated with the device, then professional development funds can continue to be used to cover the full registration fee (which includes the device), however, the device received will become District property upon completion of the workshop/course.

If you register for a workshop/course that offers a device for a separate optional fee, you have the option to pay for the device on your own, in which case the device would be yours to keep and would not become District property.  If you want to participate in the workshop/course but do not wish to pay for the cost of the device, you can (1) bring your own device (if you have one), or (2) check with your supervisor to see if there is a device available at your school that you can borrow for the training.

Prior Approval Requirement

Course requests must be submitted prior to the start of the course/activity to be considered.  This is true even if you are requesting reimbursement upon completion of the course.

Seeking Reimbursement for a Course/Activity

If an employee is seeking direct reimbursement for a course, seminar, workshop or conference, the following documents will be needed before payment can be processed :

  • documentation with a breakdown of the charges and a description of the activity; and,
  • proof of payment in the form of copies of cancelled check (front and back), credit card receipt, or a receipt directly from the organization; and,
  • proof of successful completion of the course/workshop/seminar.

Please remember that although payment cannot be processed until the activity is complete, the course must be submitted for approval prior to the commencement of the activity

Invoice Needed for Payment

Payment can only be made upon receipt of an invoice. Therefore, CCSU cannot PREPAY for a course/activity without an invoice submitted with the original request.  The invoice can be attached to the on-line request or submitted through interoffice or USPS.

  • If the sponsoring school/organization does not bill CCSU directly, it is the employee’s responsibility to forward an invoice for payment.
  • Any late fees incurred because of failure to produce an invoice on a timely basis will be the employee’s responsibility. (Depending on the check run cycle for your school district, it may take two to three weeks before payment can be issued once we receive an invoice).
  • Upon approval, the employee will receive an email notification with a link to the purchase order to submit with registration.  This P.O. number can often be provided with registration to initiate the issuance of an invoice in lieu of up-front payment with registration.

Proof of Completion Requirement

Proof of successful completion is required for all activities paid for using professional development funds as outlined at the time of the request. Failure to provide proof may result in CCSU’s seeking  reimbursement of monies paid.

  • For college courses (graduate, under-graduate or continuing education) a copy of the grade report or transcripts confirming a grade of “B” or better and confirming the number of credits granted is required.
  • For seminars, conferences, and workshops a certificate of attendance will suffice as proof of successful completion.  If you attended a conference/workshop/seminar and did not receive a certificate of attendance, please contact Maxine Breuer in Human Resources (mbreuer@ccsuvt.org) for other options.

Benefits Upon Separation of Employment

Unless otherwise specified in a written separation agreement and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement, the use of tuition reimbursement/professional development funds will terminate on the effective date of the employee’s termination, which means tuition reimbursement cannot be used for courses, workshops, seminars, conferences or other professional development activities that continue or end after the employee’s date of termination.  Reimbursement may be required from the employee in the event the District prepaid for the course, workshop, seminar, conference or other professional development activity prior to being notified of the voluntary termination.  Said reimbursement shall be a condition of release for any professional or other employee seeking release from his/her contract.

Unless otherwise specified in a written separation agreement and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement, should an employee voluntarily separate from employment prior to the end of the contract year, his/her annual tuition reimbursement/professional development funds shall be pro-rated to reflect the portion of the contract year worked.  If the employee has overused his/her accrued tuition reimbursement/professional development funds upon separation, s/he shall be required to reimburse the District for the overuse of funds.  Said reimbursement shall be a condition of release for any professional or other employee seeking release from his/her contract.

Tips & Reminders

  • Please allow a minimum of one week for processing requests for approval (possibly longer if your principal/supervisor or HR Assistant is on vacation or out of the office)
  • Employees are responsible for their own course registration. As such, please be sure to retain the original registration form for processing once the course is approved.
  • It is highly recommended that employees attach a copy of the registration form (or other documentation showing cost and the complete name and address of the organization) with the course request so we can verify accuracy of the information submitted prior to approval.
  • Unused professional development funds are not transferable to another employee.