My wife is a grade school teacher, and the principal is sending her and a few other teachers to a conference/training event out of state. This is not district sponsored, so the funding is coming directly from my wife's school. The principal bought the cheapest tickets from United, thereby leaving the teachers to foot the bill for luggage, and since it is apparently a new class of cheap tickets, carry on baggage is also an extra cost. So unless they can fit 4 days worth of professional clothing in a bag that fits under the seat, they have to pay. Also, meals are not provided beyond the ones that are at the training event (so just lunch).

Since this is training that the principal wants all of the teachers to receive, should she not be willing to foot the full bill? I tried to look at my states policy on Per diem, but I couldn't really find anything. I have taken work related trips before, and everything associated with the trip was payed for, so this seems way out of line to me. Is there anything my wife can do? I have thought about contacting the district administration to see if they were aware this was how the principal was doing things.

Edit: It's in Montana

  • 13
    She should talk to her union and the Local Department of Labor.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 20:25
  • 7
    Is the training required? Or is it just something "that the principal wants all of the teachers to receive", but really optional? The answers may be different in both cases. Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 21:02
  • 4
    @jwenting It could also be Canada (United fly domestically in Canada, for example). I'm not sure if they have school districts like that there though. Either way, I'm just prompting OP to add that kind of information to their question :) Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 5:14
  • 13
    Please add a location tag. This would be illegal where I live, but your choice of words strongly suggest we don't live on the same continent even. So please don't make us guess.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 5:17
  • If your wife is actually not wanting to attend, follow different advice for handling that. If your wife is wanting to attend but is concerned that the cost is for work related travel that is not being paid for by her employer AND YOU ITEMIZE YOUR TAXES, have her retain all receipts for out of pocket work expenses. As an alternative to deducting them on your taxes, have her file an expense report with the school as soon as she returns -if the school has an expense filing process. Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


If anyone contacts the District, it needs to be your wife, not you. It is her job, and thus her responsibility.

A lot of places do go very cheap, and schools are one where the teachers often provide some of the burden of business expenses. It doesn't seem right, but it doesn't sound surprising either.

Most teachers are part of a union (as Joe points out), and contacting the union would be another option - ask them what her rights and responsibilities are in a situation like this.

  • Additionally, pushing back will probably be more effective if your wife does it with the other teachers going. If possible, your wife should ask those teachers to join her in her requests.
    – RCA
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 16:06

You need to look for the Travel Policy of the Organization she works for. This could be the School District or the City or County. It's different in many places.

This should specify all the responsibilities of both parties.

It probably won't matter that the 'school' is paying for it. The school is still part of the Organization the policy covers. Where exactly the money comes from is irrelevant.

Since is a Government Organization, it's highly likely the Policy will specify a per diem for non-included meals. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if baggage fees had a specific policy as well.

Of course, the traveler can agree to limit expenses and not claim what they may otherwise be entitled to.

  • The organization would be the school board, while the school is funding it, any per diem rules would be by the county the school board is in and/or applicable state per diem rules. Likewise there is always federal per diem rules/laws/etc that could be applicable
    – Donald
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 3:58
  • @Ramhound Sorry, I don't understand the comment. That's exactly what I said in the Answer?
    – DTRT
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 14:03

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