Prince George’s school board has the green light to cut up their credit cards after a unanimous Feb. 12 vote to adopt a reimbursement policy.
The new policy will take effect in April, said school board chairman Segun Eubanks.
The board decided to take action following of dollars in local meals on their board-issued credit cards.
Delegate Alonzo Washington (D-Dist. 22) of Hyattsville proposed House Bill 707 to the General Assembly that would take away the county-issued cards, but Washington said he would withdraw his legislation if the school board passed the ban themselves.
David Cahn, co-chair for the education watchdog “Citizens for an Elected Board,” commended the board for the move and said it was preferable for the board to ban the cards themselves.
“A lot of times, legislation like this is created to get the target of the legislation to do it voluntarily,” Cahn said.
The new policy also caps the amount board members can get reimbursed for local meals to $39 for dinner, and lesser amounts for breakfast and lunch, and limits the number of local work-related meals for which a board member may be reimbursed to two per week.
Board member Verjeana Jacobs (Dist. 5) motioned to amend the policy to allow board members to carry over unused amounts of their expense accounts to be donated to school-based programs in the following fiscal year, pending approval from the board.
Prior to Jacobs’ amendment, the revised policy stated that unspent funds could be donated to schools or school programs at the end of June, when schools are not in session, Jacobs said.
“So what happens is funds left over from this year will go over to next year, and that will give board members an opportunity to present to the board different activities or events or things that they feel are good for schools, and make recommendations for funds to go there,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs’ amendment was approved unanimously.