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Remember, school employees are limited in what gifts they can receive

This time of year for giving and it is only natural that students and parents want to show their gratitude to teachers and school staff through gifts at Christmas time. Because of a ruling last year, school district employees are now limited on what they can receive. Here is a statement from the Madison School Board concerning gifts.

Gifts for Madison City School System Employees

The Law and the Advisory Opinion are very clear that all Board employees, including teachers and school support staff, are considered public employees and are subject to the Ethics Law.  Our policy is compliant with the law and hopefully will give some clarity to what is allowable.   Below are some highlights:

  • Occasional and Seasonal gifts may be given to employees from individuals as long as they are of de minimis value or they are not otherwise considered a “thing of value” under the law.
  • Items valued at more than $25.00 may not be considered de minimis. (This limit should be applied per student, not per parent).
  • Employees may receive gifts or gift cards purchased from pooled donations of teams, classes, or other school organizations provided that the amount that each person gives or contributes is not greater than $25.
  • No gift of any value may be given in an attempt to improperly influence a teacher or public employee.

The policy does not affect or limit gifts or gift cards to be spent for items for the classroom or to aid the teacher in performing her responsibilities as a teacher but in such cases the teacher may not convert the gift to personal use.