Senate Panel Approves Bill To Require Criminal Background Checks For School Board Members

TRENTON– Legislation to tighten requirements for serving on boards of education was approved by the Senate Education Committee Thursday.  The bill (A-444/S-295), which passed the Assembly unanimously in June, now heads to the full Senate for final legislative approval.

Under the bill 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.

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