Code of Ethics
The Board of School Commissioners recognizes that the people have a right to be assured that the impartiality and independent judgment of public officials and employees will be maintained, and that confidence and trust are eroded when the conduct of public business is subject to improper influence or the appearance of improper influence.
The Baltimore City Public Schools Code of Ethics was established to guard against improper influence; it requires Board members and designated City Schools employees to disclose their financial affairs and sets minimum standards for all employees for their conduct of school system business.
The Code of Ethics covers
- Conflict of interest
- Outside employment
- Gifts and honoraria
- Use of prestige of office
- Disclosure of confidential information
The code also establishes an Ethics Panel that serves as the advisory body responsible for interpreting this policy and advising persons subject to it as to its application.
Highlights of the Code of Ethics
Financial disclosure. Board members and designated employees are required to make certain disclosure statements on an annual basis because of their relationship to the decision-making steps for the expenditure of public funds. Download information on the process to review financial disclosure forms and address potential conflicts of interest.Download the list of vendors doing business with City Schools for the current fiscal year.
Lobbying disclosure. Any person whose intent is to influence a Board member or any employee or any person who has business with Baltimore City Public Schools and expends, within a reporting period, in excess of $75 in food, entertainment or gifts for that person must disclose this fact by registering as a lobbyist with the Ethics Panel.
Gift disclosure. An official may not solicit any gifts. However, an official may under certain circumstances accept gifts. Please see Section III.C.6 of the Code of Ethics.
Sanctions. Violation by any Board member or employee of the provisions of these regulations shall constitute grounds for discipline or personnel action or removal from office where provided by law, consistent with procedures set forth in the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland or the policies of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. Persons or organizations found in violation of the lobbying provisions of Code of Ethics shall be publicly identified and subject to other penalties as provided by law.
Exemptions. Exemptions may be granted by the Ethics Panel if the interests of the employee are too remote and insubstantial to affect the integrity of public actions, or if it is determined that application of the provisions would: (1) constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, (b) significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service, or (c) not be required to preserve the purposes of these regulations.
Complaints. The Ethics Panel also handles and makes determinations as to complaints filed by any person(s) alleging violation of these regulations.