Local School Boards Honored

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TRENTON—The New Jersey State Board of Education marked School Board Recognition Month on Wednesday by approving a resolution that commends the hard work and dedication of the state’s nearly 4,800 local school board members.

“New Jersey’s boards of education are charged with the duty to provide students with the skills and resources necessary to achieve state standards, so they may compete in a global economy upon graduation,” the State Board’s resolution states. “The efforts of local boards of education, in partnership with stakeholders ranging from parents to teachers to state education officials, have fostered a public school system that has contributed to New Jersey’s status as a leader in academic benchmarks such as elementary and middle school scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and college preparation through Advanced Placement offerings.”

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“School Board Recognition Month presents an opportunity to inform our communities about the complex and demanding job performed by local boards of education,” Raymond R. Wiss, president of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), said at Wednesday’s State Board meeting.

“Our state’s 4,800 local school members constitute the largest group of elected and appointed public officials in New Jersey,” he added. “They are also the best prepared group – undergoing extensive state-mandated training that far exceeds requirements for other public offices. And, I have to point out, school board members receive no compensation for their service.”

New Jersey’s local school boards oversee the operations of the public schools that serve about 1.38 million students, according to NJSBA, a sponsor of the recognition month in the state.

The National School Boards Association began School Board Recognition Month in the early 1990s, and various states dedicate a month to recognize the contributions of local school board members. 2011 marks the tenth year that School Board Recognition Month has been celebrated in New Jersey.

Because School Board Recognition Month coincides with the time when prospective school board candidates take the first steps to run for office, the State Board’s resolution “encourages qualified New Jersey citizens to consider serving as members on their local boards of education.” March 8 is the deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions to place their names on the ballot for the 2011 Annual School Election, which will take place on April 27.


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