TRENTON – Legislation to tighten requirements for serving on boards of education was released Thursday 8-0-1 by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
Under the bill (A-444), any person elected or appointed to a board of education would be disqualified from serving if they currently or previously have been convicted of any crime that, under existing law, would disqualify them from being employed in a public school.
The bill also would require each member of a board of education to undergo a criminal history background check within 30 days of being elected or appointed.
Furthermore, it would amend the oath of office taken by new board members to include a specific declaration that the member is not disqualified from service due to conviction of one of those crimes. Any member who falsely swears that he or she is not disqualified would face penalties of up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines.
The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.
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