from Hawaii State Ethics Commission January 3, 2016
The Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) and the Hawaii State Ethics Commission (Ethics Commission) have reached an agreement regarding teachers serving as chaperones on school related trips.
Under the agreement, teachers may continue to plan trips and serve as chaperones with private tour companies, subject to Board of Education policies. Typically, tour companies allow one chaperone to travel for free for every eight or ten travelers who pay for the tour; under the agreement announced today, this arrangement can continue, so long as teachers inform students and their families in advance that the teacher’s travel will be paid for by the tour company. The agreement also states that teachers may not collect any personal “perks” (such as tablet computers) for selling or leading trips, but may pass those rewards along to the Department of Education for use in the classroom. The tours must also satisfy Department of Education policies that trips have “educational benefits [that] are clearly linked to and support ongoing standards-based classroom studies.”
HSTA Executive Director Wilbert Holck said, “We are very pleased to reach an agreement that will provide clarity to our teachers while allowing them to continue a longstanding practice. Our teachers always want to set a good example for their students. This agreement makes sure that our teachers are not only doing the best they can for their students, but are doing their jobs with the utmost integrity.”
Daniel Gluck, executive director of the Ethics Commission, agreed: “Hawaii’s teachers work hard and exemplify integrity for their students every day. This agreement ensures that teachers can continue to provide invaluable travel opportunities for Hawaii’s students while demonstrating the highest ethical standards for their schools and the community.” The agreement is available on the Ethics Commission’s website, http://ethics.hawaii.gov.
PDF: Text of Agreement
ILind: Educational travel agreement was long overdue
SA: Teacher-trip deal good for students
SA: Agreement clarifies policy, clears free travel for teachers