Agenda Item
Docket No. 13-903
Advisory opinion regarding whether the Jefferson Parish School Board may continue a contractual relationship with The Achievement Network (ANet) at a time when the spouse of the Jefferson Parish School System Chief Network Officer, William Murphy, is employed with the company.
The Achievement Network provides curricular guides and planning resources, assessment materials, data analysis and reporting, and school based teacher coaching to those schools that have chosen to enter into partnership. ANet contracts with individual schools subject to approval of the Board and is a sole source provider of coaching and assessment services.

Kathleen Green Murphy, spouse of JPPSS Chief Networks Officer William Murphy, has been employed by ANet as one of three Directors of School Support (coaches) since July, 2011. In that capacity, Ms. Murphy serves partner schools in Jefferson, Orleans and East Baton Rouge. Ms. Murphy provides technical support during the issuing of benchmark tests and uploading of test results. Ms. Murphy also facilitates data meetings, observes and coaches principals, provides support for school leadership teams and coaches principals on data driven instruction.

William Murphy was initially employed by the Jefferson Parish School District as a Network Executive Director ("NED ") in July, 2012. As a NED, Mr. Murphy supervised and evaluated principals, coordinated instructional support for schools, and facilitated communications between individual schools and the central office. Although not dispositive, it is worth noting that the relationship between ANet and the District pre -dates Mr. Murphy's employment. Mr. Murphy assumed the position of Chief Networks Officer in February, 2013. In that role, Mr. Murphy assumed many, but not all, of the duties of the former Chief Academic Officer. The administration of the ANet contract and management of services provided thereunder is the sole responsibility of Chief Strategy Officer Jacob Landry. ANet coaches work directly with teachers and principals at the schools. Mr. Landry is the primary point of contact between the District and ANet representatives. Mr. Murphy has no involvement whatsoever with the management or oversight of the ANet contract -- he has not, and will not in the future, participate in the negotiation, execution or evaluation of services provided under the contract.

Ms. Murphy is a salaried employee of The Achievement Network. She is not an officer, director, trustee or partner in the company, nor does she own any shares in the company. Ms. Murphy's salary and job duties have remained essentially the same since she assumed her position as an ANet coach in July, 2011. Ms. Murphy's salary has not, and will not, be affected by the contractual relationship between ANet and the District. Neither Mr. Murphy nor his spouse have received any thing of economic value in connection with the ANet contract other than the normal emoluments of employment due to them in their respective positions.

Section 1111C(2)(d) of the Code prohibits a public servant or his spouse from receiving any thing of economic value from a person that has a contractual or other business or financial relationship with the public servant's agency or that may be supervised under the agency of the public servant.

BD 82-02D allows a public servant to maintain her employment, which is otherwise prohibited by Section 1111C(2)(d), if the following conditions are met: (1) the employee is a salaried or wage-earning employee; (2) the employee's salary is substantially unaffected by the contractual relationship; (3) the public servant owns less than a "controlling interest" in the company; and (4) the public servant must be neither an officer, director, trustee, nor partner in the company.

Adopt the proposed advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Aneatra Boykin
2013-903- Fax from Patricia Adams at Jefferson Parish Public School System (07 16 2013)
2013-903.docx (2)
2013-903- Advisory Opinion Request