- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Board of Education has proposed limiting its members to two out-of-state trips per year.

The proposed changes would set these limits on each board member unless they’re in a leadership role, or in situations where the National Association of State Boards of Education would cover their expenses, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1ryNWrn ) reported.

The proposal also says that only two board members should attend a national meeting unless another entity covers expenses or the board makes an exception. It would also limit lodging for one-day meetings or events to members who live more than 50 miles away unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Board member Pat McPherson has been complaining at meetings about his colleagues spending too much on travel. He and board President Rachel Wise drafted the changes to the policy.

“We’ve done a fairly adequate job of addressing the travel policy so that it provides some parameters,” McPherson said.

The current travel policy says that board members will be reimbursed for attending the National Association of State Boards of Education meetings, as well as additional trips approved by the board.

The proposed revisions would continue to reimburse board members’ travel expenses to regular board meetings and hearings and would pay for other expenses, such as phone costs and postage, related to board duties.

“It also reinforces the importance of professional development, whether it’s inside Nebraska or outside of Nebraska,” Wise said.

This year’s travel budget for board members is $60,000. The eight members, some of which live in northeastern or western parts of Nebraska, have spent nearly $38,500.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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