Policy Details Page

Policy 1610
The Board of Directors


Tacoma Public Schools is dedicated to a dynamic partnership with parents and our community and strives to meet the highest ethical standards. This policy establishes ethical standards of conduct for all Directors, the Superintendent, and District employees, in an effort to ensure proper stewardship of District resources, and to maintain integrity and accountability in the performance of District business. Violation of this Policy or its accompanying Regulation 1610R shall be grounds for disciplinary action, which may include dismissal.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:

DIRECTORS AND THE SUPERINTENDENT

Except as provided below, the Directors and the Superintendent may not benefit directly or indirectly, in any contract, made by, through or under the supervision of the Director(s) or Superintendent, or which may be made for the benefit of his/her office in whole or in part, for the purchase of materials or activities paid for from school funds.

No Director or the Superintendent shall accept, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward in connection with a contract from any person beneficially interested therein.

Exceptions:

A. The spouse of a Director or the Superintendent may be employed as a substitute teacher on the same terms and at the same compensation as other substitute teachers in the district. The Superintendent must find that the number of qualified substitute teachers in the district is insufficient to meet the anticipated needs for short-term and one-day substitute teachers, and the superintendent must ensure that substitute teacher are assigned to available positions in a fair and impartial manner.

B. Prior to approval of the employment of a Director or Superintendent, the Board of Directors shall be advised of the number of other individuals who are qualified for and interested in the position(s) to be filled. The District shall not discriminate in any way against any applicant for a certified position or any certificated employee on the basis of a family relationship with a Director or the Superintendent. All employment decisions shall be made on the basis of choosing the applicant which furthers the best interest of the District.

C. If a person is employed by the Director under contract as a classified or certificated employee before his or her spouse becomes a Director or Superintendent, the contract can be renewed for further employment, provided that the terms of the contract are commensurate with the pay plan or collective bargaining agreement operating in the District for that position. 

D. The Director or Superintendent has only a remote interest in a non-employment contract and the interest is disclosed prior to board action and recorded in the official minutes.

E. Where a majority of the Directors have a lawfully permitted pecuniary interest in an employment matter before the board, all of the Directors may participate in the board action on that matter. In such instances, the board minutes shall report the nature of each Director’s interest in the employment matter and that a majority of the board has lawfully permitted pecuniary interests in the matter. Board members with a lawfully permitted pecuniary interest in an employment matter who participate in a board action on the matter because a majority of the board has a similar interest shall put aside their personal interests and act in the best interest of the school district.

A Director may not vote on the authorization, approval or ratification of a contract in which he/she is beneficially interested and to which one of the exceptions described above applies.

Whenever a Director or his or her spouse or dependent is employed by the District, the Director shall refrain from participating in or attempting to influence any board action affecting the employment status of the Director, spouse or dependent. Actions affecting employment status include, but are not limited to, hiring, establishing compensation and fringe benefits, setting working conditions, conducting performance evaluations, considering or imposing discipline and termination.

The Superintendent shall maintain a log of any contract subject to this policy and annually or when a new Director assumes office, shall inform the board of the existence of all such contractors.

EMPLOYEES

No employee of Tacoma Public Schools shall be beneficially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract which:

a) may be made by, through, or under the supervision of such employee, or
b) which may be made for the benefit of his/her office in whole or in part.

No employee shall accept, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward in connection with such contract from any person beneficially interested therein.

If an employee or an employee’s other family member (includes but is not limited to a spouse, domestic partner, child, dependent, sibling, or other familial (relationship), has an interest or other outside arrangement regardless of whether the interest or arrangement is established by law, which might result in a conflict of interest, it is the employee’s responsibility to give all pertinent information about the potential conflict to his/her supervisor. The supervisor must notify the superintendent or designee of the potential conflict of interest. The Superintendent or designee shall determine whether a conflict exists and the course of action to be taken in addressing the issue.

No employee may participate in a District action when it could appear to a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant facts and circumstances, that the District employee’s judgment is impaired due to a personal or business relationship or because of a transaction or other activity engaged in by the District employee unless, prior to participating, the employee fully disclosed in writing the relevant facts and circumstances to the superintendent or designee. The superintendent, upon receiving written disclosure from the employee, may disqualify the employee from participation in the action.

MISUSE OF POSITION

Directors, the Superintendent, and District employees may not use or attempt to use or influence his/her official position with Tacoma Public Schools for a purpose that is, or would appear to a reasonable person to be, primarily for the private benefit of that Director, the Superintendent, or District employee, rather than primarily for the benefit of the District.

Directors, the Superintendent, and employees may not use or attempt to use, or permit the use of any District funds, equipment, personnel, or other District property (including but limited to items such as vehicles), which is, or would appear to a reasonable person to be, for any purpose other than a District authorized use. Directors, the Superintendent, and employees may make limited use of District equipment, property, or facilities for personal purposes if there is a negligible cost to the District and if the use does not interfere with the employee’s official duties or with another employee’s performance of official duties.

Directors, the Superintendent, and employees may not receive compensation from any person seeking to or providing goods or services to the District, without prior written consent of the Superintendent or designee, where the Director, superintendent or employee participates in the acquisition of such goods and services by the District.

Directors, the Superintendent, and employees may not sell goods or services (including but not limited to, private tutoring or instruction), to a student or their family, when the student is currently under the direction or control of the Director, superintendent or employee for a district-sponsored activity, unless prior written approval is obtained from the superintendent or designee.

This paragraph does not apply to before or after school enrichment activities or other programs made available to all students in the building when those activities are approved by the building principal.
Directors, the Superintendent, and employees may not sell instructional or training materials
and/or equipment developed on District time or property without the prior written consent of the
superintendent or designee.

Directors, the Superintendent, and employees may not disclose or use or attempt to disclose or use, any confidential information (specific information concerning student records, personal employee information, property appraisals, and business information) gained by reason of his/her official position, for other than an approved District purpose.

Legal References:

RCW 28A.405.250 Certificated employees, applicants for certificated Position, not to be discriminated against
RCW 28A.632.050 Certain corrupt practices of school officials—Penalty
RCW 42.23.030 Interest in contracts prohibited—Excepted cases
RCW 42.23.040 Remote interests


Adoption Date: 3/11/1999
Revised: 3/8/2012 

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