Dear Staff:
 
The State enacted a law that was effective July 1, 2010 that restricts the payment of tuition reimbursement and movement on the salary guide.   According to 18A:6-8.5, in order for a Board of Education to provide to an employee tuition assistance for coursework taken at an institution of higher education or additional compensation upon the acquisition of additional academic credits or completion of a degree program at an institution of higher education, the following must apply:
 
a.     The institution shall be a duly authorized institution of higher education as defined in 18A:3-15.3. A duly authorized institution of higher education means an in-State institution licensed by the Commission on Higher Education or an out-of-State institution licensed by the appropriate state agency and regionally accredited or seeking accreditation by the appropriate accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Education or the United States Department of Education. 
b.     The employee shall obtain approval from the Superintendent of Schools prior to enrollment in any course for which tuition assistance is sought. In the event that the Superintendent denies the approval, the employee may appeal the denial to the Board of Education.
c.     The tuition assistance or additional compensation shall be provided only for a course or degree related to the employee’s current or future job responsibilities.
 
To ensure that all staff eligible for tuition reimbursements have an opportunity to receive tuition reimbursement we are providing this reminder to assist you in the proper steps throughout the process for tuition reimbursement and/or movement on the salary guide. 
 
Step One: Step 1 is submitting the Course Pre-Approval Form I. Form I is your request for pre-approval to take a course from an accredited college or university. Course Pre-Approval Form I must be completed and received by HR by the following deadlines or at minimum before the start of the course:
  • Fall SemesterForm I due no later than July 15.
  • Winter/Spring SemesterForm I due no later than December 15.
  • Summer Semester: Form I due no later than May 15.
Upon receipt of Form I, HR will stamp it with the date received then forward it to the Superintendent for review and approval. Please remember to attach a copy of the course description to each completed Form I. After your course has received pre-approval from the Superintendent, you will receive a scanned copy of the approved Form I via email. 
 
Now that you have successfully completed the course you received approval to take, you are ready to move forward to Step 2 in the tuition reimbursement process. 
 
Step Two: Step 2 is submitting the Course Reimbursement Form II. Form II is your request for reimbursement after you have successfully completed the course previously approved by the Superintendent. Your prompt submission of Form II along with the required documents is important in calculating the reimbursement amount for everyone participating in the tuition reimbursement program.  Please remember to attach your final grade and receipt showing proof of tuition paid. 

Also, please refer to your Negotiated Agreement for details on how your reimbursement is calculated (Article B-7B, pg. 43).

If you are in the process of earning 30 additional graduate level credits and/or working towards an advance degree, you must inform the Business Administrator that you are “anticipating” movement on the salary guide by submitting your completed Form III no later than February 1st of the school year proceeding the school year during which you expect advancement on the salary guide. Failure to give this notice will delay advancement on the salary guide by one year and the adjustment shall not be retroactive. Completing Form III is the next step in the process. 

 

Step Three: Step 3 is submitting your completed Anticipated Horizontal Advancement on Salary Guide Form III. The Anticipated Horizontal Advancement on Salary Guide (Form III) is your notification to the Business Administrator that you are expecting to be moved on the salary guide. Please submit this form to the Business Administrator before the February 1st deadline. Depending on your approval of Form III and the submission of your completed Form IV, movement on the salary guide will be effective September 1st or February 1st. The completion of Form IV is the next and final step in the process.

Now that you have received approval from the Business Administrator of your anticipated movement on the salary guide and received your official transcript showing all 30 credits earned and/or the date your degree was awarded you are ready to request advancement on the salary guide by completing the Horizontal Salary Adjustment Form IV. The completion of Form IV is step 4and the final step in the process. 

Step Four: Step 4 is submitting your completed Horizontal Salary Adjustment Form IV. The Horizontal Salary Adjustment (Form IV) is your request to move on the Salary Guide. Please remember to fully complete the form and attach your official transcripts that show all credits earned and/or the degree awarded date. Once Form IV is received by HR a copy will be forwarded to the SPFEA Office. 

For your convenience, the following documents are attached to further clarify the law and assist you in making sure that you receive the benefit of tuition reimbursement and/or salary advancement: 

 
 
 
These are the steps needed to successfully complete the tuition reimbursement/salary movement process. Please do not hesitate to contact your Human Resources Department should you need assistance in completing this process.
 
Thank you.


 

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