CONFLICT OF INTEREST
In order to avoid conflict of interest, the following guidelines for Board members shall apply:
- No Board member shall sell supplies or equipment to the Board.
- The Board may not employ one of its members for any position in the school system.
- The Board shall not do business with a partnership or corporation partially owned by a Board member.
- A Board member shall not sell insurance to the Board.
- School book publishers and their agents are precluded from Board membership.
- No Board member may have a financial interest in school buses, bus equipment or supplies, provide services for buses owned by the Board, or sell gasoline to the Board from a corporation in which the Board member is a shareholder.
- No Board member shall serve on the governing body of private educational institutions.
- No Board member shall hold another county public office.
- No Board member may be employed by the State Department of Education or serve concurrently as a member of the State Board of Education.
- The Board may not do business with a bank or financial institution where a Board member is an employee, stock holder, director or officer when such member owns 30 percent or more stock in that institution.
To elaborate on item #1 - Here's the state code: (Which prohibits selling equipment or supplies not necessarily selling pizza or uniforms, etc. It still seems a bit vague.)
(a) No member of any county board of education in this state shall sell to any county board any supplies or equipment used, consumed, or necessary in the operation of any public school in this state.
(b) Any member of any county board violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
For more Georgia code click here.
New School Board Policies approved April 12 by DCSS BOE—Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policies
--There were no changes to the Ethics Policy or Conflict of Interest Policy pertaining to similar sales to nonprofit organizations, schools, classes or teachers. The policy stands as stating that board members basically cannot do business with the board (interpreted to mean "schools"). However, there is no mention of booster clubs, PTAs, etc and no mention of other employees doing business with those groups.
Applicable items SB 84—Passed This Year
(3) No local board of education member shall solicit or accept or knowingly allow his or her immediate family member or a business organization in which he or she has an interest to solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future employment, or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing that board member in the discharge of his or her official duties.
(8) No member of a local board of education may also be an officer of any organization that sells goods or services to that local school system, except as provided in Code Section 20-2-505 and excluding nonprofit membership organizations.
Proposed Levitas Bill (not pursued by the DeKalb Delegation)
Pertinent prohibitions sronger, but relatively weak:
(1) Engage in any business or transaction with or have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, in the affairs of the DeKalb County School System which would result in a financial benefit, except for a financial benefit of a nominal or incidental amount, to the official, appointed officer, employee, or relative of such person or which would tend to impair the independence of judgment or action in the performance of official duties;
Advertise business and professional services to the school system or its employees for personal gain;
So, as you can see, the fox may be guarding the henhouse. We need to pressure our school board candidates to create and enforce a strong ethics policy. In fact, they need to rework and revamp all of their policies, which I believe the new legal counsel is already working on.