A North Carolina school district is poised to ban parents from giving teachers gifts worth more than $75 to try and stop wealthy families exerting influence over staff.
Officials at Wake County Public School System are considering the proposals as part of a revised conflict of interest policy.
The school district is the richest in the state, where average household incomes are $106,822, compared to the statewide average of $79,620, according to the US Census bureau.
The plans would mean parents who wish to buy gifts worth more than $75 would have to pool their money.
Smaller gifts such as book tokens or hot chocolate kits would still be permissible, but more extravagant presents would be off limits.
Wake County Public Schools System is considering banning parents from buying teachers gifts worth more than $75
Chair Lindsay Mahaffey told the school board that some teachers could feel ‘beholden’ by expensive gifts
Teachers could also still crowdfund or apply for grants to benefit their classrooms.
The proposal was put forward amid concern that some teachers could end up feeling ‘beholden’ to rich families.
Former teacher and Chair of the board Lindsay Mahaffey told the district how a colleague at a Seattle private school was once ‘gifted a plane ticket to anywhere in the United States,’ WRAL News reports.
Board member and physician Wing Ng told the meeting how other professions, such as medics, have similar ethical guidelines around gifts.
Other board members proposed a limit of $100 to allow parents to purchase spa treatments or meals out for their families, while some felt a ‘nominal’ $50 was most appropriate.
The board landed on the $75 limit and is due to vote on the proposals today. They would need a second vote to be enacted.
If the proposals pass, Wake County will become the latest district to cap gifts for teachers.
In Massachusetts, state law has set a $50 limit, while in Texas the limit is $100 and if above $50, must be declared to the authorities.
Under the proposals, parents wishing to buy anything costing more than $75 would need to pool their resources
Wake County schools received more than $1.2 million in cash and other donations in 2021/22, according to its website.
Other plans up for a vote as part of the conflict of interest policy include barring employees from having a financial interest in goods or services sold to schools, or being involved in contract decisions in which a family member has a financial interest.
Employees would also be forbidden from recruiting students for outside activities in certain circumstances as part of the rules designed to prevent bribing.
Wake County employs almost 11,000 teachers across its 198 schools which cater to more than 158,000 students.
Expenditure per pupil is $13,194, almost $2,294 more than the statewide average, according to Education Data Initiative.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk