Agenda Item
Docket No. 24-238
Advisory opinion request from Tireka Cobb, a Louisiana Department of Education employee in the Division of Federal Support and Grantee Relations, regarding outside employment.
Tireka Cobb is employed by the Louisiana Department of Education ("LDOE") as an Education Program Consultant Supervisor for the Division of Federal Support and Grantee Relations within the LDOE's Office of Operations. As an Education Program Consultant Supervisor,

1) Ms. Cobb serves as the Project Sponsor of LDOE's E-Grants Management System ("e-GMS") and liaison to the eGMS vendor, MTW Solutions LLC;

2) she manages the statewide activities budget related to the administration of Title IV, Part B: 21st Century Community Learning Centers ("CCLC") of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;

3) she oversees the administration of the 21st CCLC Request for Proposals process, including the collection and review of applications and the execution of contracts;

4) she conducts final state review of grant applications for compliance;

5) she coordinates the recruitment and training of staff who participate in application review within Grantee Relations and across the agency; and

6) she approves budgetary reports, records, and activities to ensure adherence to federal, state, and other regulations, policies, and procedures for budgetary control and authorizes the allocation of expenditures of state, federal, and other funds to eligible recipients for implementation of all programs.

Ms. Cobb was recently offered a contract position with the National Association of Professional College & Career Advisors ("NAPCA") Foundation as an Assistant Dean of Enrollment for the Medical Physician Preparation ("MPP") Academy, which is a division of the NAPCA Foundation. The NAPCA Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational corporation based in California. MPP Academy is an early outreach "pre-med and medical/health professional school readiness" program for students in 4th through 12th grade and undergraduate college students that offers virtual classes on the weekends or on-campus summer intensive sessions.

As an Assistant Dean of Enrollment, Ms. Cobb will work part-time from home and travel to local high schools and college campuses to recruit and enroll students in the MPP Academy. She will work with post-secondary institutions in Louisiana, such as LSU, UNO, Tulane, and NSU. Ms. Cobb stated that she has not participated in student recruitment or enrollment during her employment with the Division of Federal Support and Grantee Relations. She also stated that MPP Academy and the NAPCA Foundation do not have a contractual, other business, or financial relationship with the Division of Federal Support and Grantee Relations. Further, MPP Academy and the NAPCA Foundation are not regulated by the Division of Federal Support and Grantee Relations.

La. R.S. 42:1111C(1)(a): No public servant shall receive any thing of economic value for any service, the subject matter of which is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs, or operations of the agency of the public servant and in which the public servant has participated.

La. R.S. 42:1111C(2)(d): No public servant and no legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, shall receive any thing of economic value for or in consideration of services rendered, or to be rendered, to or for any person during his public service unless such services are: (d) Neither performed for nor compensated by any person or from any officer, director, agent, or employee of such person, if such public servant knows or reasonably should know that such person has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationships with the public servant's agency; conducts operations or activities which are regulated by the public employee's agency; or has substantial economic interests which may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the public employee's official duty.

Adopt the proposed Advisory Opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Jessica Meiners
2024-238 - signed AO
2024-238- LDOE FSGR Org Chart
2024-238- MPP Job Description
2024-238- Additional Info. Emails with Ms. Cobb
2024-238- Advisory Opinion Draft - Cobb