The New Jersey School Boards Association has launched an awareness campaign designed to increase interest in running for local school board seats.
With a new NJSBA-produced video, “Consider Serving on Your Local School Board,” a series of op-ed pieces, and publicity on the Association’s website and in publications, the organization is encouraging New Jersey citizens to join the 5,000 volunteer board of education members who govern the state’s public schools.
“No other public officials—elected or appointed—have as great an impact on the lives of our children,” said NJSBA President Don Webster Jr., a member of the Manchester Township school board for nearly 20 years. Nearly 1.4 million students attend New Jersey’s public schools.
The new NJSBA video features interviews with school board members about the work they do as board members, and the reasons they serve. NJSBA is reaching out to local school districts, the New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), and the League of Women Voters, to encourage them to post the video on their websites.
“I would recommend it to anybody who really has the heart and drive to be part of education for our kids,” said Carlstadt board member Bruce Young, one of those interviewed.
“Consider Serving on Your Local School Board!” can also be viewed on NJSBA’s Youtube page or on its website.
Nominating Petition Deadline in July This year, in the General Election on November 8, school board members will be elected in over 90 percent of New Jersey’s school districts. While the election is months away, citizens who want to seek local school board office must decide to do so now. The deadline for nominating petitions to be submitted to county clerks is 4 p.m., Monday, July 25, 2016.
In addition to the video, information on the responsibilities of local school boards, qualifications for membership, and the procedure for citizens to run for office is available through NJSBA’s “School Board Candidate Kit” at staging.njsba.org/candidacy.
Webster, in an appeal to district officials, the NJPTA, the League of Women Voters and others, touted the importance of the office.
“As a local school board member for more than 19 years, I believe as strongly as ever in the positive impact of local school board governance on student achievement,” he said. “I encourage citizens with a strong interest in the educational well-being of their communities’ children to seriously consider school board office.”