Dickson teachers and staff who find themselves away from the district for a conference or training event can now receive up to $35 reimbursed for food expenses they may incur.

The amount and policy concerning reimbursement was adopted Monday night by the Dickson Board of Education. Approving the expense reimbursement policy modifies a previous practice where the district reimbursed the entire cost of a meal an employee enjoyed while in travel status, regardless of the cost.

The new policy states an employee can be reimbursed up to $35 per day, and the employee must be away from the Dickson Public Schools campus for a minimum of four hours to be eligible for reimbursement, Superintendent Larry Case said.

Employees will be expected to turn in receipts for food purchases to be refunded by the district.

The policy was approved unanimously by the five-member school board, and was approved at the first meeting following the release of an audit conducted by the Oklahoma State Auditor’s office.

The audit, which was published in late May, reviewed the use of the administrative credit card in reference to travel and meal charges. The auditors found instances of employee dining costs such as lunch at Qdoda in Norman, Cheesecake Factory in Oklahoma City and The Ranch, a restaurant in Oklahoma City. At The Ranch, the meal charge was $179.56 for two employees.

The auditors recommended the district establish a policy regarding the amount an employee could spend on meals while in travel status.

The audit also reviewed compensation for district employees, record keeping of school activity funds, policy concerning use of district-owned vehicles and lease agreements of district-owned property. The auditors found no wrongdoing, and recommended the board review policies, adopt new policies and more closely review expenditures in the future.