Montgomery school board overhauls spending policy

WASHINGTON — Facing intense criticism, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to overhaul its spending and reimbursement policy.

Board members have come under fire for the way in which they utilize taxpayer- funded credit cards. Among items they charged were dinners that cost hundreds of dollars and expensive hotel stays.

The board assembled a committee to investigate the issue and worked with an outside attorney as well.

“It was clear that our expense processes and procedures were weak and were not always followed,” said Phil Kauffman, president of the board.

Under a new policy, board members will no longer be using credit cards. Instead, their travel must be preapproved, and they will receive a set allowance for certain expenses.

There will be spending caps on things like mileage reimbursement, and board members will not be reimbursed if they purchase a meal for someone else.

“I believe these changes were needed and will help build public trust in how the board conducts business and spends valuable taxpayer resources,” Kauffman said.

The changes went into effect immediately.

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