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:
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.
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.
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 Semester: Form I
no later than July 15.
- Winter/Spring Semester: Form I
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
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
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.