How to Become a School Board Member
To Become a member of a local board of education in New Jersey, you must:
- Be able to read and write
- Hold citizenship and one year's residency in the school district
- Have no interest in any contract with, or claim against, the board
- Not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal governing body
- Be registered to vote in the district and not be disqualified as a voter under N.J.S.A. 19:4-1
Serving On A School Board
As one member of the school board team, you will be expected to cooperate with administrators, educators and the community in order to fulfill certain basic responsibilities:
- Providing responsible citizen leadership in determining community goals for public education.
- Developing a philosophy of education that will become the basis for sound educational decisions on a wide range of issues.
- Developing written operation policies to serve as guidelines for action and decision making.
- Developing a community understanding of educational issues and school policies through the maintenance of effective communications systems.
- Providing adequate financing for the present needs and future plans of the district.
- Establishing conditions of the recruitment and evaluation of an excellent professional staff.
- Evaluating the educational program of the schools in order to better meet the needs of the students.
- Ensuring a quality education for all students by providing adequate facilities and equipment.
- Providing the student services necessary for all the pupils of the district.
- Engaging in self-improvement and inservice training programs for the purpose of providing intelligent, well-informed leadership.
- Understand that your responsibility is not to administer the schools, but to work with the board to see that the schools are well run.
- Understand that education today is extremely complex.
- Listen to opposing views and be able to defend the board's philosophy and goals.
- Be willing to invest the many hours necessary to meet your responsibilities.
- Serve out of a sincere desire to benefit the community rather than for personal glory or to carry out personal objectives.
- Bear in mind that, as a state official, you have a responsibility to all the children in the state, not solely to those in the local district.
The mission of the New Jersey School Boards Association, a federation of local boards of education, deriving its authority from Pamphlet Law 18A:6-47, shall be to encourage and assist all movements for the improvement of public school education for the children of our state.
From the Bylaws of the NJSBA
SECTION 1 - Objective
The Association shall investigate such subjects relating to education in its various branches as it may think proper, and it shall encourage and aid all movements for the improvement of the educational affairs of this state and the betterment of the education and welfare of the children. To that end the Association shall among other things:
- Study education problems;
- Meet and cooperate with lay and professional groups;
- Seek to develop more efficient District Boards of Education by keeping such District Boards informed of pertinent studies by the Association or other persons or groups;
- Advise District Boards of Education as to sound educational policies and practices and conduct training programs on pertinent subjects for board members and District Boards of Education;
- Cooperate with the New Jersey Legislature toward constructive school legislation;
- Act as an medium for cooperation among the state's District Boards of Education and all other groups working constructively for the improvement and betterment of our public schools;
- Meet and cooperate with the State Board of Education on all matters affecting educational problems; and
- Conduct training programs for new board members regarding the skills and knowledge required to be an effective board member