Prairie Grove School Board seeks authorized guidance on feasible conflict of interest for board member who works as substitute

PRAIRIE GROVE — The School Board has made a decision to seek out supplemental authorized information to establish if it would be a conflict of desire for a board member to function in the district as a substitute teacher through an employment company.

The board mentioned the problem Tuesday evening, but no action was taken.

Cassie Davis was elected to the Zone 1 posture on the board Could 24. Davis received 268 or almost 55% of the votes, and her opponent, Trenton Dunn, acquired 192 votes. Candidates suppose their elected positions as quickly as they just take the oath of office.

Davis operates for Kelly Expert services as a substitute instructor in the Prairie Grove University District and has claimed she designs to go on to do so.

Board member Whitney Bryant claimed she believes it would be impossible for a board member to be impartial when also performing in the district and the board ought to look at a suggestion from the school legal professional about the scenario.

“As board customers, we are right here to retain the services of and fireplace the superintendent and adopt policy, and I believe that this unquestionably violates, indirectly violates, Arkansas regulation with regards to somebody serving on the board and working in the university,” Bryant stated.

In a May possibly 27 letter to Superintendent Reba Holmes, school lawyer Marshall Ney pointed out that Arkansas Code Annotated 6-13-616 states that a particular person who is elected to a faculty district board of administrators is not suitable for employment in the very same district.

Ney claimed the statute does not expressly point out that it prohibits oblique work of a substitute trainer via a staffing agency, but he opined the statute addresses this as nicely.

“The dynamic of a board member supervising a superintendent, while at the exact same time doing work underneath the superintendent’s management of the district seems unwieldy and inconsistent with the intent of the Standard Assembly,” Ney mentioned in the letter.

On Wednesday, Davis said she checked with school administration prior to submitting as a prospect, and her understanding was that it would not be illegal for her to do each.

She explained she also recognized that all board customers were aware of it beforehand.

“I would always put the learners and the university initially,” Davis mentioned. “I am likely to acquire my board seat and go with that for now. I was voted in, and I sense it would be allowing individuals down to wander absent.”

Bryant reported the board really should think about the “spirit of the legislation,” adding that board customers are intended to serve impartially.

Bryant stated she welcomes Davis on the board but believes she ought to substitute in other districts, not Prairie Grove. She suggested the board amend its plan handbook to deal with the problem and comply with the authorized guidance from Ney.

Not all agreed with Bryant.

Shawn Shrum, who did not operate for reelection, reported the legislation is imprecise on that situation. He mentioned Ney in his letter reported he “thinks” the statue is supposed to address indirect work with the district.

“I imagine you could phone up 12 attorneys and get 12 diverse responses,” Shrum mentioned.

Board member J.C. Dobbs stated Davis has a solid character.

“I really don’t imagine Cassie will allow any person influence her from executing what is right,” Dobbs said.

Dobbs acknowledged he is biased towards Davis since he prompted her to operate but additional she wants to substitute in the district exactly where her little ones go to school.

Holmes explained she termed Kristin Garner, lawyer with Arkansas College Board Affiliation, and Garner said it was not anything she would advise. However, Davis would be performing for Kelley Solutions, not the university, Garner stated.

Garner, arrived at by phone Wednesday, agreed it does not violate Arkansas regulation for Davis to do both but mentioned the practice could set a board member in a placement where by he can not make a good or neutral final decision.

Based mostly on her fears, Garner said she would suggest the district check with Kelly Products and services not to assign the board member to substitute in Prairie Grove, or the College Board could get the leadership purpose in passing a coverage that a board member could not substitute for a staffing company in the exact same district, she stated.

Board president Casie Ruland stated, “I think it would be difficult to be impartial.”

Orr created the advice to proceed to find additional authorized information from Ney and Garner.

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