Professional Ethics: PA Codes & School Law - Act 48 Course  

Paul and I have been teaching PA educator ethics Act 48 courses since January, 2021.  The following educators' comments were from their completion of our prior course:

​"This training directly relates to my profession as it is ensuring that teachers are informed ​of their code of conduct.  It has caused me to reconsider actions that occur in and out of the workplace and how they impact the school and community in which I work."

​"It also better informed me of the process that occurs after a complaint is filed, which is ​helpful to know in case I would find myself in that situation...."

High School Foreign Language Teacher• Act 48 Course 1 January 4, 2021 
"As a secondary teacher I found the workshop particularly relevant to my daily duties."

"Responsibilities to report any suspicious behavior by my coworkers in good faith, and related strategies were covered very well."

"The case studies were particularly useful as well as directions to review state websites and standards."

 High School Social Studies teacher • Act 48 Course 4    April 13, 2021


In June, 2023, our new course was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as satisfying the Professional Ethics Program Framework Guidelines published in October, 2022.  The following paragraph was written by the PDE staffer who reviewed and approved our application:


" 'Thomas W Bailey Attorney at Law' entity was approved to be an authorized ​professional ​development provider. Any and all courses developed by the entity, following the guidelines of the approved application, are eligible for Act 48 hours, during the active authorization period, including the professional ethics standards that are to be integrated into public (and some private schools) ​ school ​entities professional ​development program by the end of 2025. School entities are free to "sub-contract" such particular ​requirements to the entity that you run, or any other Approved Provider within their active authorization ​period." 

Class Schedules:

We offer this Course to school and system leaders to help their staff make sound professional decisions.  We have been asked to present to newly hired staff members and their mentors within New Hire & Mentor Ethics In-Service classes. These sessions are at the end of the school day, while staff are still in the school building.  

"Since we have so many new staff, it is so important to ensure that they start off on the right foot."  School & System Leader email quote.

In addition, we continue to offer and contract with Individual Educators who wish to complete this course on their own accord. If the educator obtains prior, written approval of our course from their School Entity, the educator will receive 4 PERMS hours upon completing our course successfully. When I enter their hours on PERMS, PDE will produce a paper verification which I will send to the educator.  The Educator will then supply this verification to their supervisor to prove they have completed the Professional Ethics training required by PDE Chapter 49.

Like our first educator ethics classes, we schedule these classes in the late afternoon, most often when the educators are at home.

Below are the contents of our Professional Ethics: PA Codes and School Law course:

Model Code of Ethics for Educators: Session 1

What are the four fundamental concepts of an "ethical equilibrium"?

What is the difference between a moral and ethical standard?

List at least four characteristics that differentiate a code of ethics from a code of conduct.

What are the five basic principles of the Model Code of Ethics for Educators?

Commission & Code of Conduct: Session 2

Distinguish between the roles played by PDE's Office of Chief Counsel and the Professional Standards & Practices Commission within PDE's professional disciplinary process.

Identify the Pennsylvania code for educator conduct, violation of which could result in loss of certification to teach in this state.

Identify two values, one required behavior and one prohibited behavior written into the PA Code of Conduct.  Do you agree or disagree with these examples?

After discussing the Boundaries Case Study, explain how the PA Code of Conduct informs your practice as an educator?

Educator Discipline Act & Commission Website Resources: Session 3

Which PA statute gives PDE legal authority to initiate legal action against an educator to suspend or revoke their teaching certificate?

If Commission members agree, what are three sanctions they could impose upon an educator found to have violated the Educator Discipline Act, PA Code of Conduct or other state laws?

Compare/contrast the types of website resources found by using the three links on the top menu bar of the Commission's website.

In Case Study 3, would you have accepted the Commission's decision or would you have appealed to the Commonwealth Court?

Ethics at Work: Session 4

What percent of educators at your Local Education Agency (LEA) are familiar with the Model Code of Ethics for Educators, PA Code of Professional Practice & Conduct for Educators, Professional Standards & Practices Commission and/or Educator Discipline Act?

Would the voluntary creation and operation of an Ethics Professional Learning Committee help LEA educators make better professional decisions? Why or why not?

Do you think your students are aware of the role ethics plays in their classroom or of the terms of their student code of conduct?

Predict whether your completion of this course will show improvement in your students' achievement?  If so, what anecdotal evidence do you think you may observe?

Course Details.
Registration fee is $110, paid at the Events page on this website.  This course consists of four, one hour, online sessions.  As a result, upon successful completion of this course, participants earn four (4) Act 48 hours.
Requirements to complete the course are to appear in person, via camera, throughout all four sessions. If a Participant is absent for a session, the full session is made up at a mutually agreed upon date/time.  
The Participant must also score 6 out of 10 total items correct on post-session assessments.  Participants must submit PDE Survey 3527 and all post-session assessments to Mr Bailey within two weeks of completion of Session 4 to earn the four PDE hours uploaded to PERMS.