MORIARTY & CRYAN BILL WOULD STRENGTHEN ANTI-NEPOTISM RULES IN SCHOOLS

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan are sponsoring would extend anti-nepotism rules to the state’s public and charter schools.
“Property taxpayers deserve every assurance that the people charged with educating their children got their positions because of what they know, not who they know,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “With local schools making up the majority of local property tax bills, we need to ensure that we are investing in the absolute best candidates to lead our schools.”
The bill (A-646) would require each board of education to adopt and implement a nepotism policy that addresses the recommendation and hiring of a relative, supervision of a relative by a school administrator and the involvement of a school administrator in negotiating with a bargaining unit that includes a relative.
The adoption of such a policy will be a condition for the receipt of state aid.
“Prohibitions against nepotism in state government already can be found in law,” said Cryan (D-Union). “It’s a no-brainer to extend that statutory umbrella to cover schools, as well.”
The bill was recently advanced by the Assembly Education Committee.
The nepotism policy must include, but need not be limited to, the following:
· A provision prohibiting any relative of a school board member or chief school administrator, school business administrator, school board attorney or director of personnel from being employed in any office or position in the district. However, such a person employed by the district on the effective date of the policy or the date a relative becomes a school board member or administrator will not be prohibited from continuing to be employed in his current position or, in the case of a reduction in force, in any position to which the person has a legal entitlement. The policy may also provide that the district may seek approval from the executive county superintendent of schools to promote such an existing employee under certain circumstances;
· A provision prohibiting a chief school administrator from recommending to the school board any relative of a school board member or chief school administrator, school business administrator, school board attorney, or director of personnel.
· A provision prohibiting a district administrator who has a relative who is a member of the bargaining unit from discussing or voting on the proposed collective bargaining agreement with that unit or from participating in any way in negotiations;
· A provision prohibiting a district administrator who has a relative who is a member of the same statewide union from participating in any way in negotiations prior to the school board attaining a tentative memorandum of agreement with the bargaining unit; and
· A provision prohibiting a district administrator who has a relative who is a member of the same statewide union in another district from participating in anyway in negotiations.
The bill also directs the board of trustees of a charter school to adopt and implement a nepotism policy. The policy adopted by a board of trustees must incorporate the above provisions and will be applicable to members of the board and to charter school administrators.