March 11, 1993
Digest: A full-time judge may run for and serve on a committee established pursuant to the regulations of the Commissioner of Education in the school district in which the judge’s child is enrolled, the purpose of the committee being to bring about participation of parents and teachers in school-based planning and shared decision making to improve the educational performance of all students.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.5(b).
A full-time judge inquires about the propriety of serving on a committee in the school district in which the judge’s child is enrolled in the third grade. That committee has as a stated purpose, inter alia, the participation of parents and teachers in school-based planning to improve the educational performance of all students, and to get input from parents, similar to a parent-teacher association. The election of members to the Committee is not a general election, since only the parents of students are eligible to vote.
Judges are permitted to participate in a variety of civic activities as long as their activities “do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties” [22 NYCRR 100.5(b)].
This Committee concludes that there is no impropriety in the judge serving on the school district committee as constituted under the regulations of the Commissioner of Education so long as such participation does not interfere with his or her judicial duties.