April 20, 2010
Ms. Barbara Reich Freiberg
224 Amherst Ave.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808
Re: Ethics Board Docket No. 2010-245
Dear Ms. Freiberg:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its April 16, 2010 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion as to whether you may continue your employment with the Baton Rouge Transition to Teaching Program (BRTTT) if you are elected to the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. You stated that you are employed as a program manager with the Baton Rouge Transition to Teaching Program. The BRTTT is a program of LSU's "Geaux Teach" Program. BRTTT is a program that provides an alternative path to teacher certification in high-need subject areas for mid-career professionals and recent college graduates. The program is funded through a grant for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement. The program is housed within the Gordon A. Cain Center at LSU. This program services teachers in eight parishes including East Baton Rouge.
As a program manager, you stated that you conduct teacher observations; however, you stated that you do not make certification decisions on teachers. You stated that you arrange mentors, coordinate professional development for teachers and mentors, participate in information sessions, recruit candidates and conduct interviews, collect and analyze data on the quality of training and support services and make program modifications to improve outcomes and document program work and finances.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you, that the Code of Governmental Ethics would not prohibit your continued employment as a program manager with BRTTT if you are elected to the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. Section 1111C(1)(a) of the Code prohibits a public employee from receiving any thing of economic value for any service, the subject matter of which is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs, or operations of the agency of the public servant and in which the public servant has participated. Since BRTTT is directed towards certifying and preparing teachers for the classroom, which is not a duty and responsibility of the East Baton Rouge School Board and in which you have or will participate in as an elected member of the school board, your Ms. Barbara Reich Freiberg
April 20, 2010
Ethics Board Docket No. 2010-245
continued employment with BRTTT is not prohibited. However, the Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you, that providing evaluations and assessments of teachers providing teaching services to the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board would be prohibited by Section 1113A of the Code. Section 1113A of the Code prohibits a public servant form entering into a transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of his agency.
This advisory opinion is based solely on the facts as set forth herein. Changes to the facts as presented may result in a different application of the provisions of the Code of Ethics. The Board issues no opinion as to past conduct or as to laws other than the Code of Governmental Ethics. If you have any questions, please contact me at (800) 842-6630 or (225) 219-5600.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
Tracy K. Meyer
For the Board