SPESP Only Course Reimb./3rd Party Billing

Please note that course reimbursement has nothing to do with certification and vice versa:

  • Paperwork for reimbursement and third party billing is dealt with by Accounts Payable - Lori Michaud.
  •  Paperwork for certification is dealt with by the Certification Clerk – Carolyn Sivik.

Even though these people reside in the office, information is not shared. We would not want to forget to share a piece of paperwork that would cause you to either not receive reimbursement/certification credit, or to postpone your reimbursement/lane change


If you are using the course for both certification and reimbursement, you must submit the
course twice in PDExpress – 
For both certification pre-approval and course reimbursement pre-approval.

·         Certification pre-approval (My Pages, Out-of-District PD, Propose Out-of-District PD, Type: select your grade level for conference or workshop or course)
·         Course reimbursement pre-approval (My Pages, Out-of-District PD, Propose Out-of-District PD, Type: K-12 Course Reimbursement).


The School Department currently offers both reimbursement, and limited pre-payment for tuition (see bargaining agreement text below for various limitations).

Either option begins with the same initial step, that you request Pre Approval for Course Reimbursement using the form found under “Propose out of District PD” in PDExpress. Again, this is different than any approval you might receive for certification purposes.

Once you receive notification that this class has been approved, for reimbursement, at all levels, you then have two options. You can either pay for the class, and submit for reimbursement after you have been awarded a grade, or you can fill in a separate form (Appendix D), and request that the district pre pay for the class using Third Party Billing (please see limitations of bargaining agreement).

If you wish to use Third Party Billing you must fill in Appendix D completely, but only after receiving PDExpress approval, and submit it to Accounts Payable. It is best if this is accompanied by a statement of your account. Forms are not accepted prior to the class being approved in PDExpress. If the form is incomplete or the class has already begun, it will be returned to you.

There are slight variations for different colleges, but typically at that point, Accounts Payable will generate a PO and contact the college to arrange payment. 

If SPSD has not used an institution for third party billing before, a relationship needs to be setup. In this case your class may not be eligible for third party billing, by the time arrangements have been made.

Specific Third Party Billing Procedures for UNE, USM, St. Joseph's College, Maine Educator’s Consortium and the University of Phoenix, as well as Appendix D and a sample Statement of Account may be found in PDExpress: Resources, Documents & Forms, Course Reimbursement.


Here is the text from the CBA:


A. The Board agrees to pay each employee the actual cost of two (2) three (3) credit courses or the actual cost of each six (6) credit hours earned (as long as the amount does not exceed USM tuition) and mandatory fee rates. The following are the provisions that must be met for reimbursement:

1. Notice of the intent to take the course is filed with the Business Office by October 1 of the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which the course will be taken on a form provided by the Business Office.

2. Courses taken are for undergraduate or graduate credit.

3. All courses must have prior approval of the Superintendent of Schools.

4. Employees must receive a grade of “B” in the course, except in the case of a pass/fail course, for which a pass is required, to qualify for the above.

5. Proof of payment for the course must be submitted to the Business Office with the grade report or transcript and the request for reimbursement.

6. Employees who receive financial support for coursework from sources other than South Portland School Department must report such support and the tuition reimbursement will be adjusted to reflect the support.

B. Payment shall be processed upon verification by the recipient that said courses were successfully completed and credit earned. Each member shall be limited to two (2) such reimbursements during any contract year. Payment shall be made only during the months of July, November and March.

C. Third Party Billing

The Board shall provide Clerks / Ed Techs who have served at least three years in the Department and who have complied with the above approval procedures for course reimbursement, the option of receiving an educational loan or advancement to any accredited college or university for a direct advance payment (“third party billing”), subject to the following conditions:

1. The Department’s administration shall make arrangements, at the employee’s request, with an accredited college or university for a procedure for third party billing for the educational loan or advancement, providing a third party billing option is available.

2. Third party billing is not allowable for the payment of courses exceeding six (6) credit hours per school year, or for summer courses.

3. The maximum sum of money that the Board will permit under this section shall not exceed (a) $10,000 for courses in Spring 2014 and (b) $15,000 for each contract year thereafter.

4. In the event that any employee who has used this advance payment fails to complete successfully the course(s) by providing written verification of successful completion within sixty (60) days from the ending date of the course for Fall courses and thirty (30) days from the ending date of the course for Spring courses, the employee shall reimburse the Board the amount of payment made on behalf of the employee. Unless other written repayment arrangements are made with the Superintendent, any reimbursement owed to the Board by the employee shall be made by payroll deduction in six (6) consecutive payments, unless there are less than six (6) pay periods remaining by August 31st, in which case the amount owed to the Board shall be made by payroll deduction in equal, consecutive payments over the remaining pay periods until August 31st. Full payment may be made to the business office at any time.

5. Should the employee cease employment with the Board, the amount remaining due shall be paid in full from the employee’s final pay.

6. The employee must sign the payroll deduction form attached as Appendix D regarding the education loan / advancement prior to the implementation of direct third party billing.