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ERIC Number: ED521603
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest: A Guide for School Board Members and Superintendents
Washington State School Directors' Association (NJ1)
Nearly every legislative session in the last decade has changed state law in a way that requires school board members and superintendents to be more highly sensitized to conflict of interest issues, regardless of the size of their district. Prior state law simply forbade most opportunities for financial conflicts of interest, especially those related to employment, in all but the smallest school districts. Now, in all districts, the spouse of a current district employee may be appointed superintendent or elected to the school board without the employee having to forfeit his or her position, the spouse of a director or superintendent may be a substitute teacher, and a director may have a business contract with the district. Case law has further clarified that the purpose of law is to regulate an officer's interests in contracts not non-pecuniary interests. This publication reviews basic conflict of interest issues, with particular emphasis on how to structure district policies and board practices to comply with state law and public expectations when one or more board members (or the superintendent, beyond his or her contract) have an ongoing personal financial interest in the district's operations. A secondary goal is to raise the awareness of district officers so if there is any indication that a conflict exists, officials will ask themselves the appropriate questions.
Washington State School Directors' Association. 221 College Street NE, Olympia, WA 98516. Tel: 360-493-9231; Fax: 360-493-9247; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington State School Directors' Association
Identifiers - Location: Washington