In light of the recent Superintendent Report on the Druid Hills Annexation, it is important that DeKalb County School District employees and board members know and comply with the provisions of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act (O.C.G.A Section 21-5-1). The Act allows certain activities, but prohibits others, to influence voter approval or rejection of a constitutional amendment, legislation, or referendum such as educational SPLOST or city annexation. This post is adapted from a variety of documents, including materials from the Georgia School Boards Association, the Georgia PTA, and Gwinnett Schools.
The DeKalb County School District, its employees and board members may provide the public only with objective, factual information. The school district may educate voters about a referendum, but it may not contribute to a campaign committee that is promoting or opposing the issue or attempting to influence voters to vote a certain way. Informational materials developed by the school system must not be perceived as campaign material or be promotional in nature.
No public funds or resources can be used to promote or oppose voter approved issues. Public resources include, but are not limited to, school system/local school email, websites, newsletters, facilities, copy machines, paper, phones, audiovisual equipment, computers, vehicles, and employee time during work hours or in a capacity as an employee after work hours.
Employees may work to promote or oppose voter issues only as private citizens on their own time. Employees have the same civic responsibilities and privileges as any other citizen including the privilege of campaigning for and actively supporting causes in the political arena. An employee’s political activities must not interfere or conflict with an employee’s job.
School board members and superintendents may, on their own time and with their own resources, influence the passage of a referendum. They may appear at public events and speak on behalf of the issue. They should be careful to emphasize, however, that they are not speaking on behalf of the board or in their official capacity.
School administrators may speak at parent-teacher organization meetings as long as the meeting is not held during the school day and attendance is voluntary.
School administrators, teachers, and other employees, as individuals, may endorse and contribute to the campaign. However, any written or oral endorsement should contain a disclaimer that it is not being made in the person’s capacity as a school official or employee.
School districts can provide the public and the media with factual, objective information about a referendum. Such material must not be biased or handled in a way that could be perceived by the public as campaign material.
School administrators and other employees may not spend time during the school day on activities influencing a referendum. During working hours, they should not appear at public events to speak on behalf of the campaign, solicit campaign contributions, or distribute campaign literature.
Schools should not send home with students any materials in support or opposing a referendum. School newspapers, newsletters, and other educational literature should not contain advertisements, columns, or editorials by staff members that promote or oppose passage of an issue. School mailing labels may not be used to mail campaign materials.
School districts, school boards, and schools may not spend public funds on advertising (print or electronic) intended to influence voters.
School administrators must be careful that their actions toward teachers do not appear coercive. While they can remind staff of the date for voting and provide information about the referendum, they should not seek to influence those they supervise to vote a certain way. Administrators should make clear that employees will not suffer adverse consequences if they choose not to support or contribute to the referendum or do not vote.
- College Admissions 101
- Graduation Schedule – DeKalb Schools Class of 2019
- DeKalb Schools 2018 CCRPI Scores
- Visitor and Volunteer Policy – Part II
- Chamblee Redistricting Options – Meeting 2
- Make Chamblee Charter HS Better Not Bigger
- Free Speech … For Some At DeKalb Schools … Part II
- DeKalb Schools Visitor and Volunteer Policy
- DeKalb Schools 2018-2019 Calendar
- Make Lakeside HS Better Not Bigger
- DeKalb Schools 2018 Graduation Rates
- Redistricting For Schools in Chamblee & Brookhaven
- News & Updates – 8/30/2018
- Delay in New Austin ES Opening
- School Readiness Report 2018-2019
- GOP Governor Runoff – Kemp has the Mo
- DeKalb Teachers Get a 2.5% Raise And Start Stepping
- July 2018 – New And Open Principal Report
- Chamblee German Teacher Controversy
- June 2018 – New And Open Principal Report
- Dr. Donnie Davis – New Peachtree Charter MS Principal
- TSA & Annexation – Legal Update
- School Councils Are Now Principal Advisory Councils
- City of Brookhaven Not a Fan of Briarcliff HS Site
- Support for DCSD Bus Drivers
- DeKalb Schools FY 2019 Preliminary Budget
- DeKalb Bus Driver Sick Out
- Location of New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
- Where to Build the New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
- Policy Input – Magnet Students Participate in Sports
- Dunwoody HS Trailer Park
- Metal Detectors at YOUR School
- Building Additions – Project Plan and Schedule
- Student Protests Wed – The Plan – County by County
- School Safety – What's the Plan?
- News & Updates – 2/23/2018
- DeKalb Schools New Hires
- Mega High School Construction Update
- Virtual Learning Make Up Days
- Adequate Space Requirements For Mega High Schools
- Student Chromebooks – Update
- Survey – Making Up Days Lost to Inclement Weather
- Lakeside HS Council Not A Fan of the Building Additions
- DeKalb Schools Make Up Days
- DeKalb Schools 2018 – 2020 Calendar
- Which DeKalb Schools Are Beating The Odds
- Protesting Cheerleaders at DHS – The Whole Story
- 2018-2020 Calendar Options
- Emergency Weather – What's The Plan?
- Atlanta & Atlanta Public Schools Annexing DeKalb
- Kids Doc on Wheels Medical Van
- DeKalb Schools 2017 Turnaround, Priority & Focus Schools
- Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremonies Schedule
- 2018-2020 Calendar Update
- DeKalb Turnaround Eligible Schools Trends 2015-2017
- DeKalb Schools – Free Speech….For Some?
- Adding Classrooms is Only Part of the Soluion
- DeKalb Schools Enrollment Capacity Data
- Concerns about Lakeside HS Expansion
- DeKalb Schools 2017 CCRPI Trends
- DeKalb Schools Extends Days in November
- 2017 DeKalb Graduation Rates By High School & Demographic
- Emory Annexation and DeKalb County Schools
- DeKalb Schools – Students Kneel During National Anthem
- Teaching Sexual Behavior Standards At School
- Make Up Days – Public Input
- Plan B – Make-Up Schedule
- Make-Up Schedule – DeKalb Schools
- School Make-Up Days
- DeKalb Schools is Back in Business
- School Recovery Report – DeKalb Schools
- Detailed Status Report – DeKalb Schools
- News & Updates – DeKalb Schools – 9/10/2017
- Google Classroom Vs VERGE – Feedback
- Where Is The New Cross Keys HS Going
- Carstarphen And APS Desire To Expand Into DeKalb
- DeKalb Schools Responds To Poor Curriculum, Assessments and Planning Templates
- Feedback – Curriculum & Assessments
- Trailers at Cross Keys High School
- Monday Solar Eclipse – The Plan
- DCSD Home Football Tickets Now Available Online
- New & Vacant Principals & Assistant Principals
- DeKalb Schools Digital Dreamers
- New Laptops For All DeKalb Teachers and Students
- DeKalb Schools Extends School 1 Hour For Solar Eclipse
- Meet DeKalb Schools' New Assistant Principals
- Tom McFerrin, Dunwoody HS Principal, Is OUT
- Meet DeKalb Schools' New Principals
- What is the Purpose of Public Schools
- Principal and Teacher Vacancy Report And Selection Process
- TSA – Summary Judgement
- Billboard Marketing Campaign
- DeKalb Schools Convocation 2017
- DeKalb Schools – New Fund Raising Policy (KEB)
- Deficit Spending At DeKalb Schools FY2018
- DeKalb Schools FY2018 Tentative Budget
- New Doraville Elementary School – Update
- DeKalb Schools Announces Proposed Property Tax Increase
- City Building Permits For The School District
- Flooding Failing Schools With Money And Employees