Skip to main content

Ethics Policy

All boards of education in Maryland are required by state law to have an ethics policy that establishes standards of conduct for school system employees and board members.  The content of a local board of education’s ethics policy is subject to the approval of the Maryland State Ethics Commission (“SEC”).

During the 2010 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 315 which charged the State Ethics Commission with the responsibility of reviewing and updating the ethics policies that govern local boards of education and municipal corporations.  Senate Bill 315 was signed into law on May 4, 2010.

In 2012, the SEC adopted new administrative regulations (COMAR 19A.05.01.01-.03) that established guidelines for boards of education.  The Washington County Board of Education (“Board of Education”) adopted its updated ethics policy, administrative regulation, and exhibits (collectively referred to as “ethics regulations”) in 2012 after a comprehensive review by the Board of Education and the Maryland State Ethics Commission. 

Since the adoption of the updated ethics regulations in 2012, changes have been made to the state laws and regulations governing local boards of education’s ethics regulations, which require the Board of Education to make modifications to its ethics regulations in 2018.  

The Board of Education’s Policy Committee was charged by the Board of Education with conducting a review of the current ethics policy, administrative regulation, and exhibits, and offering recommendations to update these documents.  At the February 6, 2018, Board of Education public business meeting, the Policy Committee requested the Board of Education to take the following action:

  • Approve the first reading of proposed changes to Policy BBFE—Ethics;
  • Approve the first reading of proposed changes to Administrative Regulation BBFE-R—Ethics Regulations;
  • Approve the first reading of proposed changes to Exhibit BBFE-E(2)—Lobbying Registration Form and Lobbying Activity Report;
  • Approve the first reading of proposed changes to Exhibit BBFE-E(3)—Financial Disclosure Form A; and
  • Approve the first reading of proposed Exhibit BBFE-E(5)— Application to Request an Advisory Opinion.

After the period for public comment had elapsed, the Board of Education took official action at its public business meeting on April 17, 2018, to update its ethics policy, administrative regulation, and exhibits. 

In accordance with Maryland law, the Board of Education’s approved policy, administrative regulation, and exhibits were submitted to the SEC for that public body’s review and final approval.  The SEC took official action at its February 15, 2018, public meeting to approve Washington County Board of Education’s ethics policy, administrative regulation, and exhibits.

The Washington County Board of Education’s approved policy, administrative regulation, and exhibits are available on this webpage for your consideration and are as follows:

  • Policy BBFE—Ethics
  • Administrative Regulation BBFE-R—Ethics Regulations
  • Exhibit BBFE-E(1)—Ethics Complaint Reporting Form
  • Exhibit BBFE-E(2)—Lobbying Registration Form and Lobbying Activity Report
  • Exhibit BBFE-E(3)—Financial Disclosure Form A (Superintendent and School Board members) 
  • Exhibit BBFE-E(4)—Financial Disclosure Form B (Administrators and Supervisors)
  • Exhibit BBFE-E(5) – Application to Request an Advisory Opinion

A list of frequently asked questions is also available on this webpage for your consideration. In the event you have questions, you may contact:

Anthony J. Trotta, Esquire
Counsel to Ethics Advisory Panel
10435 Downsville Pike
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
301.766.2946
301.766.8718 (f)ax)
trottant@wcps.k12.md.us