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School Ethics Commission Decisions
Public Advisory Opinions

A17-96 Superintendent whose daughter-in-law is employed by the board and a member of the local education association may not serve as chief spokesperson for the board in contract negotiations, but may provide critical information. 11/27/1996 Negotiations/Resource Exception
A16-96 Board member with a spouse in the administrators' association may not participate in discussions and vote on a contract with the teachers when provisions of the contracts are linked. 1/28/1997 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A22-96 Board member would violate the Act if she served on the board of trustees of a charter school in the same district. 2/25/1997 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A23-97 Board member in regional school district may start personal business privately advising college bound students without violating the Act. 10/28/1997 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A26-97 Business Administrator/Board Secretary whose contract provided that he will receive a percentage of teachers' settlement will not violate the act by serving as a resource during contract negotiations with teachers. 11/25/1997 Negotiations/Resource Exception
A30-97 Assistant Superintendent who is a partner in a day care center would violate Act by bidding on contract to provide programs for the school district's pre-school children. 2/4/1998 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A01-98 Board members may discuss and vote on a proposal to give greater weight to certain courses, but may not vote on whether to make proposal retroactive when retroactivity would give their children who are juniors a greater benefit. 2/24/1998 Other
A03-98 Board members may serve on negotiating team and vote on contract pursuant to the Doctrine of Necessity when four of the five presently able to vote, have a conflict of interest. 4/28/1998 Doctrine of Necessity
A04-98 Board president may request a letter of recommendation from the district superintendent without violating the Act, but may wish to reconsider doing so due to other considerations. 4/28/1998 Other
A05-98 Business Administrator/Board Secretary would not violate the Act by being a member of the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO) if her Board votes to participate in an investment program that the NJASBO plans to sponsor. 4/29/1998 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A08-98 1) A Board member with sister-in-law in the local bargaining unit would not violate the Act by voting on the contract; 2) Board attorney must advise that board members with a conflict of interest with one unit may vote on the contract of another unit if the contract provisions are not based on the settlement of the other. 5/26/1998 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A13-98 It would be a violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(d) of the School Ethics Act for board members whose districts send students to a charter school to serve on the Board of Trustees of the charter school. 7/30/1998 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A14-98 Non-voting members of the board of trustees of a charter school who held positions as officers on the board could not simultaneously hold a contract with the charter school to provide financial services or be employed by the charter school without violating N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(d) of the School Ethics Act. 7/30/1998 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A22-98 Two Board members who are either members of the NJEA or have spouses who are members of the NJEA may participate in the hearing on a teacher's grievance alleging that the number of students that she has been assigned is impacting on her workload without violating N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the School Ethics Act. However, the one Board member who has a daughter who teaches in the district would violate the act if he were to participate in the hearing of the grievance. 2/23/1999 Other
A05-99 A Charter School Trustee would be in violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(a) and (c) if the law firm in which he was a partner were appointed by the Charter School to represent it in a zoning matter. 4/28/1999 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A13-99 Interim Superintendent and Business Administrator who have spouses who teach in another school district and are members of the same statewide general union as the teachers in the administrators' district may provide technical financial and insurance information, but should not act as negotiators for the board. 9/28/1999 Negotiations/Resource Exception
A14-99 Board member whose spouse is a founder of a proposed charter school that will serve children from his district does not have a conflict in violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(a) the Act, but should abstain from any discussions and votes whether to recommend the creation of the school. 11/23/1999 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A15-99 Board attorneys, who are not employees of school districts who make recommendations regarding hiring or the purchase of property or services, are not "school officials" subject to the School Ethics Act. 11/23/1999 Other
A02-00

Board member whose spouse is employed as a teacher in another district may not negotiate with teachers in his district who are affiliated with the same statewide general union, although the spouse has no NJEA affiliation and does not pay a representation fee.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection of a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

3/28/2000 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A07-00 Board member would not violate the Act if he or she served as President of the local Parent Teachers' Association in the same district, but would be prohibited from voting on matters involving the PTA, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), representing the PTA before the Board, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(g), or using information not available to the public for the financial gain of the PTA, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(f). 5/23/2000 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A14-00

After In the Matter of Pannucci, SB #16-97 (2000), board members who are teachers in another district and members of the same statewide general union would not violate the Act, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), if they were to vote on collective bargaining agreements with the local teachers' affiliate in the district in which they serve. However, board members would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), if they were to participate in negotiations with the local affiliate or participate in closed session discussions regarding negotiations prior to the signing of a memorandum of agreement.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection of a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

11/28/2000 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A16-00 Board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the Act if he were to participate in negotiations or vote on a contract with the local education association when his brother holds a position in the maintenance department and is a member of the local education association in the district in which he serves. 11/28/2000 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A01-01

Board members would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the Act if they were to participate in negotiations and vote on the contract with the teachers' association when their spouses are teacher aides in the district. Board member who is also Board president would not violate the subsection by appointing the chairperson and/or members of the negotiations committee.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection of a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

1/23/2001 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A03-01 Board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the Act if she were to participate in discussions and vote on the reappointment of the Board attorney or the payment of the attorney's bills when the attorney prepared a simple will and powers of attorney for the Board member and her spouse. 4/24/2001 Other
A07-01 Board member who is the executive director of a company that is the landlord to a charter school would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(d) if she were to serve as a trustee of a charter school. However, she would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if she were to participate in discussions or vote on matters having to do with the lease or future purchase of property. 5/22/2001 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A05-02 Board members who have immediate family members who are employed in a school district that receives the Board's students would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the Act if they were to vote to approve the tuition contract with the receiving school district for the Board's students to attend the receiving school district. 4/2/2002 Other
A14-02 A Board member whose brother-in-law teaches in another school district would not violate the Act if he were to participate in negotiations with the local education association. The Doctrine of Necessity should not be invoked to allow the entire Board to participate in negotiations when there are three Board members without conflicts who may serve as the negotiating committee. Third, the Business Administrator whose spouse is an NJEA member may provide technical assistance to the Board without invoking the Doctrine of Necessity. 11/15/2002 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A13-02 Three Board members who were endorsed by the local teachers' association in the 2001 election would not violate the School Ethics Act if they were to participate in upcoming negotiations involving the local education association or vote on the collective bargaining agreement. However, the three Board members who were endorsed by the association in 2002 would violate the Act if they were to negotiate and vote. 12/2/2002 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A14-03 The Commission advised that a school offiicial would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(e) of the School Ethics Act if he were to accept funding from a District vendor that consisted of travel, meals and accommodations to an educational event that the vendor sponsors, even if the school official were serving as a presenter. 8/14/2003 Other
A19-03 Board president who is a member of an NJEA affiliate in another district and spouse to an NJEA member in the same district would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) by signing the retainer agreement for the law firm, signing the collective bargaining agreement, or signing off on the monthly bill list which includes payment to the labor negotiators, or the payroll certification which authorizes payment to district employees. 8/27/2003 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A17-04 Board member would not violate the Act if he continued his employment with an architectural firm that is contracted by the Board, but he must recuse himself from all discussions, actions, resolutions and votes pertaining to the area of architecture. 7/26/2004 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A16-04 Board member would not violate the Act if she served as a co-facilitator of a Special Education Parent Discussion Group, but should remain mindful of her duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information that she acquires by reason of her office. 7/27/2004 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A23-04 Board members who have retired from the NJEA may serve on the board's negotiations committee without violating the Act provided they are not actively participating in the NJEA. 8/23/2004 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A28-04 Board member whose spouse is employed as a teacher in the school district would not violate the Act by receiving medical benefits through the district for which he serves. He must abstain from all matters involving the local teachers' association and all issues related to the employment of his spouse. 9/30/2004 Other
A30-04 Board member would not violate the Act by appealing a Section 504 determination regarding her child and pursuing tuition and legal fees because N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(j) provides an exception. However, she would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if she were to participate in discussions and vote on matters involving the Section 504 determination. 12/21/2004 Other
A19-05 Board member, whose sister is a teacher in another school district and is a member of the same statewide union with which the board negotiates, would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) by participating in negotiations with the local education association. 7/22/2005 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A31-05 Board member, who is employed as a police officer in the city where the district is located, would violate the N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(a) and (d) of the Act if she were to be appointed by her employer as the district's School Resource Officer and maintain her seat on the board.  In addition, she could violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(c) and (j) due to her extensive contacts with students and staff. 2/10/2006 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A30-05

Board members would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if they were to participate in evaluations, personnel actions and compensation for the principals who supervise their spouses, the Director of Elementary Education (for board member A only) and the Superintendent.  The Commission advised the board members to recuse themselves and not to participate in any discussions regarding the above matters.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection of a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

3/10/2006 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A02-06 Board member would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(e) or (g) if he were to send a letter to the editor expressing his opinion about the budget as long as he does not hold himself out as a board member, to indicate that the opinion is his and not that of the board, and the information therein is accurate and not confidential. 3/10/2006 Speech
A07-06

Board member with a spouse who is a teacher's assistant in the district would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if he were to participate in the hiring and any employment issues regarding the superintendent, where the assistant superintendent supervises the board member's spouse's supervisor and is a candidate for superintendent.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection of a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

7/31/2006 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A14-06 Board member would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), if he or she were to participate in discussions and votes on the employment and compensation of the superintendent and building principals since his or her spouse serves as needed as an on-call substitute teacher. 10/19/2006 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A23-06

The Commission advised four board members who have various family members and/or relatives working in the district whether or not they would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) by participating in the search for a new superintendent, the interview process for the potential candidates, contract negotiations, the hiring of the new superintendent and employment issues related to the new superintendent.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection of a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

11/15/2006 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A03-07 The Commission clarified its advice given in A02-06 and advised that a board member would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(e) or (g) by sending a letter to the editor expressing his opinion about the budget as long as, in the letter, he identifies himself as a board member and indicates that the letter is not authorized by nor written on behalf of the board, and he provides accurate information that is not confidential, and he ensures that his private action does not compromise the board.  4/2/2007 Speech
A30-07 Board member whose spouse is a security guard in the district could not participate in the in the search for, and hiring of, a new superintendent, if the director of education becomes a candidate for the position of superintendent, because the director of education is familiar with the board member's spouse by virtue of his or her indirect supervision of the spouse. 1/11/2008 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A34-07 The Commission clarified prior advice issued in A14-00 specifying that board members who are conflicted from participating in negotiations but not from voting may participate in discussions and vote on any outstanding issues where the signed MOA includes the salary guides and the total package of money to be offered. However, where the signed MOA does not include the salary guides and/or the total package of money to be offered, board members who are conflicted from negotiations but not from voting would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if they participate in discussions or vote on outstanding issues. 2/26/2008 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
A06-08 The Commission advised that a board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b) if he were to participate in the evaluation of the Superintendent where, prior to his becoming a board member, his employment with the district was terminated as a result of a decision made by the Superintendent. 6/10/2008 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A25-08 The Commission advised that two board members, one whose spouse was employed as a secretary in the district and the other whose spouse was employed as a caller of substitutes in the district, would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c). if they were to participate in the discussion and adoption of the board's goals and objectives for the superintendent as long as those goals and objectives do not touch upon the employment of the board members' spouses.  1/29/2009 Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A03-09 The Commission advised that a board member would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), if s/he were to serve as a paid sports official at athletic meets in the district in which s/he serves, given: an "assignor" is responsible for assigning officials to officiate athletic events; all sports officials are assigned through an assignor and sports officials do not solicit assignments; board member would receive compensation from the district for your officiating duties, but such compensation has been negotiated by the league for school athletic directors for all area sports for both high schools and middle schools.  4/21/2009 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A15-10 A board member's participation in an exit interview would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(c) and (d) of the Code of Ethics for School Board Members. 2/14/2011 Other
A05-12 School administrator would violate the School Ethics Act if s/he served as a paid consultant to companies that do business with the district. 6/26/2012 Involvement in Other Ventures, Businesses, Etc.
A14-12 School board member, whose son is a custodial employee, may  participate in negotiations for administrators unless some relationship exists that links the  administrators' contract  to the custodians' contract,  providing a benefit,  advantage, profit or gain to the son. 7/26/2012 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
Negotiations/Resource Exception
A20-12

Board member, whose husband and brother work in the district,  may not participate in closed session discussions and performance evaluation of either of the direct administrators or the central administration evaluations of the superintendent or assistant superintendents. Moreover, the Board member may not review any of the executive minutes, sit in on or be advised of the negotiation of committee's updates unless the information is also available to the general public.  Finally, the Board member may not participate in an executive session that considers the administrators' positions in schools in which the brother or husband teaches.  Doing so would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(g).

10/31/12 Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract
Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators
A24-12 The Commission finds that since there are four members on the Board who are not conflicted, then they may serve as the selection committee for the new Superintendent; therefore, the Doctrine of Necessity may not be invoked during the hiring process.  Additionally, consistent with the Commission's determination in Martinez v, Albolino, SEC Dkt. No. C45-11 (June 26, 2012) and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), the members with conflicts are prohibited from any involvement in the pre-hiring or post-hiring employment issues of the Superintendent. 12/18/12 Doctrine of Necessity