TRENTON—Citing challenges facing public education in the state, the president of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) recently urged eligible citizens to consider serving on their local boards of education.
Candidates have until 4 p.m., Monday, March 2 to file a “nominating petition” with their local school board office. The petition places the candidate’s name on the ballot in the Annual School Election, which this year takes place on Tuesday, April 21. Approximately 1,500 local school board positions will be on the ballot statewide.
“These are exciting and challenging times to be involved in public education,” said Harry J. Delgado, NJSBA’s president and a member of the South Brunswick Board of Education for more than 13 years. “New Jersey’s public schools must meet new state academic standards, accommodate the needs of diverse student populations, and be accountable to the entire community.
“At the helm of each local school district is the board of education,” Delgado continued. “School boards don’t run the school district; that’s the job of the school administrators. Rather, school boards set the goals, direction and agenda for the entire district. It can be both demanding and rewarding, but it truly is public service.”
In New Jersey, local school board membership is an unpaid, non-partisan office.
“I urge eligible citizens with a genuine interest in public education to consider serving on their school board,” Delgado said.
NJSBA has sent each local board of education a package of “School Board Candidate Kits” to help guide citizens through the process of school board candidacy and understand the roles of school boards. The packet includes a sample nominating petition, a calendar of important dates in the school election process, and information on the responsibilities of local boards of education. The kit also provides a summary of the New Jersey School Ethics Act, and it provides a list of candidate briefings sponsored by the state’s county school boards associations in March.
School Board Candidate Kits are available at local board of education offices or by calling the New Jersey School Boards Association at (609) 278-5202. The kit can also be obtained on NJSBA’s Web site at www.njsba.org/candidacy.
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