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Belmont Public Schools News

Gift Giving Letter from Superintendent

Dear Belmontians, 

As we approach the holiday season, I have an obligation to remind those who would like to recognize the hard work of teachers and educators that there are legal restrictions about gifts to public employees. 

The state’s laws and regulations prohibit school employees from accepting any gift that has a value in excess of $50 – whether in the form of cash, event tickets, meals, or goods.  The sole exception to the $50 limit is a class gift or gifts from a group of students, parents, or colleagues, but only if the value of the gift or gifts do not exceed $150.  Furthermore, recipients of gifts have an obligation under state ethics regulations to report to a supervisor each gift received and its value. 

If there are individuals and groups who do wish to recognize a teacher or group of educators, they might want to consider a contribution in the name of the teacher or group of employees to the school’s PTA or PTO, or to the Foundation for Belmont Education.  Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible, and Foundation grants support programming and needs of the Belmont Public Schools.  Through the Foundation’s STAR Award program, you can honor teachers or staff members (Foundation for Belmont Education, PO Box 518, Belmont, MA  02478:  www.fbe-belmont.org/star.  

We all appreciate the support and encouragement of Belmont citizens for our professionals and support staff.  I do hope you understand how circumspect public employees must be about gifts and gratuities. 


John P. Phelan  
Belmont Public Schools