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Georgia Professional Standards Commission The Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators – Fall 2010 Bibb County Presentation.

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1 Georgia Professional Standards Commission The Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators – Fall 2010 Bibb County Presentation

2 Legal Authority of the PSC Ethics Division

3 Adoption of a Code of Ethics. (a) It shall be the duty of the commission to adopt standards of performance and a code of ethics for educators… which are generally accepted by educators of this state. (a) It shall be the duty of the commission to adopt standards of performance and a code of ethics for educators… which are generally accepted by educators of this state.

4 Definition of Educator (2) "Educator" means teachers and school or school system administrators and other education personnel of this state who hold certificates, permits, or other certification documents issued by the Professional Standards Commission and persons who have applied for but have not yet received or have been denied such certificates, permits, or other certification documents from the Professional Standards Commission (2) "Educator" means teachers and school or school system administrators and other education personnel of this state who hold certificates, permits, or other certification documents issued by the Professional Standards Commission and persons who have applied for but have not yet received or have been denied such certificates, permits, or other certification documents from the Professional Standards Commission.

5 … the commission shall be authorized to investigate : (1) Alleged violations by an educator of any law of this state pertaining to educators or the profession of education;

6 Alleged violations by an educator: … the commission shall be authorized to investigate: (2) of the code of ethics of the commission; (3) of rules, regulations, policies; or (4) the standards of performance of the commission or the state board;

7 (d) (3) If the Professional Standards Commission's review of the investigative report results in a sanction against the educator, the educator shall have the right to appeal the commission decision to a hearing before an administrative law judge within 90 days of such sanction. (d) (3) If the Professional Standards Commission's review of the investigative report results in a sanction against the educator, the educator shall have the right to appeal the commission decision to a hearing before an administrative law judge within 90 days of such sanction.

8 The Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators

9 Standard 1 An educator shall abide by federal, state, and local laws and statutes.

10 Legal Compliance Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to the commission or conviction of: a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude. a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude. any criminal offense involving a controlled substance or marijuana. any criminal offense involving a controlled substance or marijuana. any sexual offense specified in Code Section 16. any sexual offense specified in Code Section 16. any laws applicable to the profession. any laws applicable to the profession.

11 Reporting the COMMISSION of a Criminal Offense

12 Requests by Local Boards for Investigation of Criminal Offenses (a) Superintendents, associate or assistant superintendents, or directors of personnel shall make an immediate written report to the local board of education upon receiving a written report … that any school system educator employed by the local unit of administration has committed any of the following specifically identified crimes: (a) Superintendents, associate or assistant superintendents, or directors of personnel shall make an immediate written report to the local board of education upon receiving a written report … that any school system educator employed by the local unit of administration has committed any of the following specifically identified crimes:

13 Requests by Local Boards for Investigation of Criminal Offenses Murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, or kidnapping, Murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, or kidnapping, Any sexual offense, Any sexual offense, Any sexual exploitation of a minor Any sexual exploitation of a minor Any offense involving marijuana or a controlled substance Any offense involving marijuana or a controlled substance Any offense involving theft Any offense involving theft Unlawfully operating a motor vehicle after being declared a habitual violator Unlawfully operating a motor vehicle after being declared a habitual violator

14 Requests by Local Boards for Investigation of Criminal Offenses (b) If the local board of education determines that the matters … warrant investigation, then the local board of education shall … transmit such report to the commission with a request for investigation.

15 Requests by Local Boards for Investigation of Criminal Offenses The reporting administrator and the local board of education shall have a good faith, reasonable basis to believe that the incident occurred or evidence exists and shall, in the written report, set forth such basis and detail the nature of the incident, evidence, and names of any and all known witnesses.

16 Requests by Local Boards for Investigation of Criminal Offenses (c) The willful failure of any such local school system administrator to comply with … this Code section shall be grounds for the … imposition on the administrator of any of the disciplinary actions set forth in Code Section (c) The willful failure of any such local school system administrator to comply with … this Code section shall be grounds for the … imposition on the administrator of any of the disciplinary actions set forth in Code Section

17 Clearance Criteria

18 Guidelines for a Clearance: Misdemeanor convictions that do not involve moral turpitude, except in cases involving sexual misconduct and drug related convictions of CERTIFIED educators. Misdemeanor convictions that do not involve moral turpitude, except in cases involving sexual misconduct and drug related convictions of CERTIFIED educators. Convictions prior to the age of 18, except in cases involving sexual misconduct or crimes specified in O.C.G.A. § : murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, or armed robbery if committed with a firearm. Convictions prior to the age of 18, except in cases involving sexual misconduct or crimes specified in O.C.G.A. § : murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, or armed robbery if committed with a firearm.

19 Guidelines for a Clearance: Misdemeanor bad check convictions involving three or fewer convictions with no more than one occurrence within the last ten years or after initial certification. Misdemeanor bad check convictions involving three or fewer convictions with no more than one occurrence within the last ten years or after initial certification. One shoplifting conviction more than ten years old or prior to initial certification. One shoplifting conviction more than ten years old or prior to initial certification. Criminal acts not related to any other authorized area of investigation where criminal charges were dropped or dismissed. Criminal acts not related to any other authorized area of investigation where criminal charges were dropped or dismissed.

20 Guidelines for a Clearance: Minor traffic-related incidents. Minor traffic-related incidents. Affirmative answers in error.. Affirmative answers in error.. Reports of termination from employment (prior to initial certification) that do not involve a felony, a crime of moral turpitude or breach of any profession’s code of ethics. Reports of termination from employment (prior to initial certification) that do not involve a felony, a crime of moral turpitude or breach of any profession’s code of ethics.

21 Guidelines for a Clearance: NASDTEC entries of sanctions that would not be a violation of the Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators NASDTEC entries of sanctions that would not be a violation of the Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators School Systems reports involving non-disclosure of criminal histories or misrepresentation by educators in which the school system is not able to document the allegations of misrepresentation. School Systems reports involving non-disclosure of criminal histories or misrepresentation by educators in which the school system is not able to document the allegations of misrepresentation.

22 Standard 2 An educator shall always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom.

23 A STUDENT is anyone:  enrolled in a Georgia public or private school from preschool through grade 12, or  anyone under the age of 18.

24 For the purposes of the Code of Ethics, the enrollment period for a graduating student ends on August 31 of the year of graduation.

25 1. committing any act of child abuse, including physical and verbal abuse; 2. committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment; 3. committing any sexual act with a student or soliciting such from a student; 4. engaging in or permitting harassment of a student on the basis of race, gender, sex, national origin, religion or disability; 5. soliciting, encouraging, or consummating an inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, or physical relationship with a student; 6. furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or drugs to any student, or Unethical Conduct with Students Includes:

26 7. failing to prevent the use of alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs by students who are under the educator’s supervision (including but not limited to at the educator’s residence or any other private setting). Unethical Conduct with Students Includes:

27 Alcohol or Drugs Standard 3

28 An educator shall refrain from the use of alcohol or illegal or unauthorized drugs during the course of professional practice.

29 Drugs Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. being on school premises or at a school-related activity while under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal or unauthorized drugs;

30 Illegal and Unauthorized Drugsare Always Illegal and Unauthorized. Illegal and Unauthorized Drugs are Always Illegal and Unauthorized.

31 Alcohol Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 2. being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while under the influence of, possessing, or consuming alcoholic beverages.

32 The … code of ethics … shall be limited to professional performance and professional ethics The … code of ethics … shall be limited to professional performance and professional ethics.

33 Georgia's Legal Definitions for "Under the Influence" An alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours. Driving - O.C.G.A. § and Discharging Firearm - O.C.G.A. § An alcohol concentration of 0.10 grams or more at any time within three hours. Operation of Watercraft - O.C.G.A. § and Hunting - O.C.G.A. § percent or more by weight of alcohol in a person's blood, breath, or urine. Driving a Commercial Vehicle - O.C.G.A. §

34 Georgia's Legal Definitions for "NOT Under the Influence" If there was a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol. O.C.G.A. § Driving O.C.G.A. § Operation of Watercraft O.C.G.A. § Hunting

35 Possession Possession of a CONTAINER of alcoholic beverage (not in the blood stream). DO NOT DISCARD the evidence!

36 Honesty Standard 4

37 An educator shall exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.

38 Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: 1. professional qualifications, criminal history, college or staff development credit and/or degrees, academic award, and employment history; 2. information submitted to federal, state, local school districts and other governmental agencies; 3. information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel; 4. reasons for absences or leaves; 5. information submitted in the course of an official inquiry/investigation; and

39 Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to, falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: 6. information submitted in the course of professional practice.

40 Sick Leave

41 SICK AND PERSONAL LEAVE O.C.G.A. § Personnel may utilize sick leave upon the approval of the local school superintendent or an appointed designee for absence due to illness or injury or necessitated by exposure to contagious disease or to illness or death in the immediate family…

42 SICK AND PERSONAL LEAVE O.C.G.A. § During any school year, personnel may utilize up to a maximum of three days of any accumulated sick leave for the purpose of absenting themselves from their duties for personal or professional reasons if prior approval of their absence is given by the local school superintendent or his authorized representative; provided, however, that the absence is not in conflict with a local board of education policy concerning school days on which the presence of the personnel requesting absence is essential for effective school operation…

43 SICK AND PERSONAL LEAVE FTE Funding for Sick and Personal Leave 8 days are funded at $ per day for each teacher on the FTE report. No sick leave funding is included for other positions. 8 $18.75 per day = $

44 Changing Grades

45 “Grade Integrity Act” O.C.G.A. § “(a) No classroom teacher shall be required, coerced, intimidated, or disciplined in any manner by the local board of education, superintendent, or any local school administrator to change the grade of a student. This subsection shall not apply when a teacher has failed to comply with grading policies or rules adopted by the local board of education or written procedures established by an individual school that are applicable to the grading process, unless such policy, rule, or procedure would require a student be given a grade different than the actual grade achieved.

46 “Grade Integrity Act” O.C.G.A. § (b) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prevent a principal or other local school administrator from discussing the grade of a student with a classroom teacher. (c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prevent a central office administrator, superintendent, or local school administrator from changing a student's grade. Any grade change made by a person other than the classroom teacher must be clearly indicated in the student's school records and must indicate the person responsible for making such grade change.”

47 “Grade Integrity Act” O.C.G.A. § Violation of the above law would be grounds for a suspension. The administrator should inform any teacher whose grades were changed, should document, in the student’s file, the reasons and the justification for the grade change.

48 Posting Student Grades Under the Name of Another Teacher In order to meet NCLB/AYP requirements, some administrators are posting student grades under the name of teachers who do not provide the primary or direct instruction to students. This is clearly a violation of the “HONESTY” and “Public Funds and Property” Standards of the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators.

49 Public Funds & Property Standard 5

50 An educator entrusted with public funds and property shall honor that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility.

51 Public Funds & Property Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. misusing public or school-related funds; 2. failing to account for funds collected from students or parents; 3. submitting fraudulent requests or documentation for reimbursement of expenses or for pay; 4. co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts; and 5. using school property without the approval of the local board of education/governing board or authorized designee.

52 Booster Clubs & Coaches or Music Directors

53 I.If the Booster Club is operating as a 501c3 non- profit corporation, has its own Tax Identification Number and is registered and approved with the IRS as a non-profit: A. Treatment of Perks and Benefits to Educators - The Booster Club is responsible for all record keeping and tax notification and the Educator is responsible for reporting the additional income on their tax return. This would include the use of any vehicle owned or leased by the Booster Club. A. Treatment of Perks and Benefits to Educators - The Booster Club is responsible for all record keeping and tax notification and the Educator is responsible for reporting the additional income on their tax return. This would include the use of any vehicle owned or leased by the Booster Club. B. Camp Income to Coaches - If the Educator is conducting a camp and the funds are run through the Booster Club, the same conditions as above would apply. Note> If a Booster Club is operating as a true 501c3 non-profit and they file a tax return, that return is open for public inspection and you can request a copy of the return from the organization. Superintendents should require that Booster Clubs submit a copy of this form each year to verify compliance. A copy of this report in the file clears the superintendent of responsibility for actions of the club if illegal actions are reported.

54 II. If the Booster Club has not filed as a non-profit or has filed as a non-profit, but is using the School Systems Tax Identification Number: A. Treatment of Perks and Benefits to Educators - All liability for record keeping, tax reporting and 1099 Misc reporting to Educators falls on the School System. The Educator is still responsible for his or her own taxes, but it is the responsibility of the school system to perform all the record keeping and tax reporting. B. Camp Income to Educators - If the coaches are running the camp income through the Booster Club (i.e. using their checking account) and they are operating under the School Systems Tax identification Number, all record keeping and tax reporting falls under the School System. Note> If Booster Clubs are not operating as a true 501c3 non-profit organization, it is the responsibility of the superintendent to assure that the school system is performing all record keeping and tax reporting functions.

55 III. If an Educator is operating a camp and the income is run through his/her personal checking account, all liability for income tax reporting falls on the Educator. The Educator must have system approval for camps or lessons involving school facilities, equipment or students in the educator’s classes or school. The Educator must have system approval for camps or lessons involving school facilities, equipment or students in the educator’s classes or school.

56 Remunerative Conduct Standard 6

57 An educator shall maintain integrity with students, colleagues, parents, patrons, or businesses when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation.

58 Remunerative Conduct Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local board of education/governing board or authorized designee; 2. accepting gifts from vendors or potential vendors for personal use or gain where there may be the appearance of a conflict of interest; 3. tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local board of education/governing board or superintendent or authorized designee; and 4. coaching, instructing, promoting athletic camps, summer leagues, etc. that involves students in an educator’s school system and from whom the educator receives remuneration unless approved by the local board of education/governing board or the superintendent authorized designee. These types of activities must be in compliance with all rules and regulations of the Georgia High School Association.

59 Confidential Information Standard 7

60 An educator shall comply with state and federal laws and state school board policies relating to the confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material and other information.

61 Confidential Information Annual performance evaluation records of school personnel Annual performance evaluation records of school personnel Health services provided to an insured Health services provided to an insured Identifiable individual student performance data, information and reports Identifiable individual student performance data, information and reports School records of students with disabilities School records of students with disabilities A student's education record A student's education record

62 Abandonment of Contract Standard 8

63 An educator shall fulfill all of the terms and obligations detailed in the contract with the local board of education or education agency for the duration of the contract.

64 Abandonment of Contract Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. abandoning the contract for professional services without prior release from the contract by the employer, and 2. willfully refusing to perform the services required by a contract.

65 Clearance Guidelines for Abandonment of Contract Cases The Educator submitted a letter of resignation by June 1 st for school year only. Typically it is by May 1 st.

66 66 Clearance Guidelines for Abandonment of Contract Cases The Educator resigns during the contract year for one of the following reasons and works with the school system to facilitate a smooth transition of professional duties: Documented personal health problems or family medical problems that require the educator’s full time care and attention A family situation that requires a move out of reasonable commuting distance of the contracted position. A documented spousal transfer and relocation out of reasonable commuting distance of the contracted position. A documented promotion within the field of education. The school system was forced to reduce the educator’s salary due to documented loss of financial support caused by an unexpected economic downturn (including state requested furloughs).

67 67 Clearance Guidelines for Abandonment of Contract Cases The Educator/Administrator was forced to recommend that the local board of education reduce the salaries of educators in the system due to documented loss of financial support caused by an unexpected economic downturn (including state requested furloughs), and the Educator/Administrator works with educators seeking release from their contract to facilitate a smooth and timely transition of professional duties.

68 Required Reports Standard 9

69 An educator shall file reports of a breach of one or more of the standards in the Code of Ethics for Educators, child abuse, or any other required report.

70 Required Reports Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. failure to report all requested information on documents required by the Commission when applying for or renewing any certificate with the Commission.; 2. failure to make a required report of a violation of one or more standards of the Code of Ethics for educators of which they have personal knowledge as soon as possible but no later than ninety (90) days from the date the educator became aware of an alleged breach unless the law or local procedures require reporting sooner. ; and 3. failure to make a required report of any violation of state or federal law soon as possible but no later than ninety (90) days from the date the educator became aware of an alleged breach unless the law or local procedures require reporting sooner. These reports include but are not limited to: murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, kidnapping, any sexual offense, any sexual exploitation of a minor, any offense involving a controlled substance and any abuse of a child if an educator has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused.

71 Unsatisfactory Evaluations

72 Professional Conduct Standard 10

73 An educator shall demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards and preserves the dignity and integrity of the teaching profession.

74 Professional Conduct Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. any conduct that impairs and/or diminishes the certificate holder’s ability to function professionally in his or her employment position, or 2. a pattern of behavior or conduct that is detrimental to the health, welfare, discipline, or morals of students.

75 Testing Standard 11

76 An educator shall administer state mandated assessments fairly and ethically.

77 Testing Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: 1. committing any act that breaches Test Security; and 2. compromising the integrity of the assessment.

78 Superintendent’s Role The Superintendent has ultimate responsibility and accountability for all testing activities within the local school system. Develops local policies and procedures based on Georgia Department of Education guidelines and test publisher’s directions to maintain test security. Develops local policies and procedures based on Georgia Department of Education guidelines and test publisher’s directions to maintain test security. Supervises and monitors Principals to ensure that they fulfill their specific roles and responsibilities for the administration of tests. Supervises and monitors Principals to ensure that they fulfill their specific roles and responsibilities for the administration of tests.

79 Superintendent’s Role The Superintendent has ultimate responsibility and accountability for all testing activities within the local school system. Ensures that all personnel involved with testing receive training on appropriate test administration, policies, and procedures including accommodations for each assessment given. Ensures that all personnel involved with testing receive training on appropriate test administration, policies, and procedures including accommodations for each assessment given. Informs the local Board of Education, state test coordinator and Professional Standards Committee of any breach of security by employees of the system. Informs the local Board of Education, state test coordinator and Professional Standards Committee of any breach of security by employees of the system.

80 Ensures test security within the building. Ensures test security within the building. Ensures distribution of test materials occurs immediately prior to testing. Ensures distribution of test materials occurs immediately prior to testing. Supervises all testing activities. Supervises all testing activities. Ensures that all school personnel have been appropriately trained on test administration, procedures, and polices. Ensures that all school personnel have been appropriately trained on test administration, procedures, and polices. The Principal’s Role The principal is ultimately responsible and accountable for all testing activities in the school.

81 Ensures that documented accommodations (IEP, IAP, TPC) have been given to only those students who appropriately need them. Ensures that documented accommodations (IEP, IAP, TPC) have been given to only those students who appropriately need them. Implements system and school testing policies and procedures to ensure all students are tested fairly and appropriately. Implements system and school testing policies and procedures to ensure all students are tested fairly and appropriately. Reports immediately any breach of security to the Superintendent. Reports immediately any breach of security to the Superintendent. The Principal’s Role The principal is ultimately responsible and accountable for all testing activities in the school.

82 Other Grounds for Disciplinary Action against a Certificate: 1. unethical conduct as outlined in The Code of Ethics for Educators, Standards 1-11; 2. disciplinary action against a certificate in another state on grounds consistent with those specified in the Code of Ethics for Educators; 3. order from a court or a request from DHR that a certificate be suspended or denied for non-payment of child support;

83 Other Grounds for Disciplinary Action against a Certificate: 4. notification from the GHEAC that the educator is in default and not in satisfactory repayment status on a student loan; 5. suspension or revocation of any professional license or certificate; 6. violation of any other laws and rules applicable to the profession; and 7.any other good and sufficient cause that renders an educator unfit for employment as an educator

84 Enforcing Sanctions The superintendent and the superintendent’s designee for certification shall be responsible for assuring that an individual whose certificate has been revoked, denied, or suspended is not employed or serving in any capacity in their district. Both the superintendent and the superintendent’s designee must hold GAPSC certification.

85 Questions


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