School Ethics Commission

State of New Jersey

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SCHOOL ETHICS COMMISSION
PO BOX 500
TRENTON, NJ 08625-0500

JAMES E. McGREEVEY
Governor

WILLIAM L. LIBRERA
Commissioner

March 5, 2003

TO:

Local School Districts and Charter Schools

FROM:

Lisa James-Beavers, Executive Director
School Ethics Commission

RE:

Resolution on Adopting the Doctrine of Necessity

The School Ethics Commission is asking you to share with your school board members and trustees the attached resolution, which it adopted at its meeting on February 25, 2003. The resolution clarifies how school boards and charter schools must invoke the "Doctrine of Necessity" when a quorum of the board has conflicts of interest that prevent the board from acting on a matter required to be voted upon, such as a collective bargaining agreement. This resolution came about because the Commission anticipates that more school boards will face this situation as a result of Public Advisory Opinion A13-02, which provides that board members who were endorsed by the political action committee of the local education association would violate the Act if they participated in negotiations and voted on the contract within the same year as the endorsement. A copy is on the Commission’s web page.

This resolution requires that boards that must invoke the Doctrine of Necessity adopt a resolution at a public meeting stating the nature of the conflicts of interest, post the resolution for 30 days and provide the Commission with a copy.

The Commission’s resolution does not have to be read at a public meeting. Only boards that are invoking the Doctrine of Necessity must adopt a resolution and that resolution is the one that must be read at a public meeting.

Attachments

c:

Albert Monillas
Judith Weiss
Michael Rush
Gloria Hancock