The petition filing deadline for candidacy in communities with November school board elections is now less than a week away, at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 27.
The president of the New Jersey School Boards Association has urged citizens with a sincere interest in the education of their community’s children to consider serving on their local school boards.
Interested citizens can find information about the responsibilities of school board membership, qualifications for office, nominating petitions, and candidacy timelines on the NJSBA website at www.njsba.org/candidacy.
“Local school boards have a direct impact on the education received by New Jersey’s schoolchildren,” said Donald Webster, Jr., NJSBA president. “The board of education sets the goals and policies that represent the community’s aspirations for its public schools. The board selects the district’s superintendent and acts on his or her personnel recommendations. It negotiates collective bargaining agreements with teachers and other employees. And it makes critical decisions affecting curriculum, budgeting and facilities.
“Local school board membership is an unpaid and challenging public service, but it is also a rewarding public service that has a direct impact on the lives of our children and the quality of life in our communities,” he continued.
Webster has served on the Manchester Township Board of Education in Ocean County for more than 17 years.
For their names to be placed on the November 3, 2015 election ballot, citizens seeking school board office must file a nominating petition at the Office of the County Clerk by the 4 p.m., July 27 deadline. A nominating petition must be signed by at least 10 registered voters within the school district.
NJSBA’s School Board Candidate Kit, at www.njsba.org/candidacy, includes the following information:
- Locations, hours and telephone numbers for the 21 county clerks’ offices;
- How to Become a School Board Member, which also features frequently asked questions about board of education responsibilities;
- Requirements under the New Jersey School Ethics Act;
- Online video and audio programs describing what board members can expect if elected, and
- A calendar of important dates in the 2015 school-election process.
According to the New Jersey School Boards Association, 90 percent of the state’s boards of education conduct their elections in November. The remaining school boards hold elections in April or are appointed. Citizens can verify if their district conducts November elections by calling the local board of education office.
In Elizabeth, a battle for control has been being waged for years. A shift in one seat could shift control from away from the faction that has held a majority for more than two decades.
Other communities, such as Perth Amboy, have had contentious school elections but most have become less discordant as voters pay little attention to the bodies governing their local education systems.
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