North Plainfield Education Association, which represents approximately 500 certificated and non-certificated members, truly values the commitment that Board of Education members make to our community, our schools, and our students. Normally, we would be discussing the time and place for our annual Meet the Board of Education Candidates night, sponsored as a PRIDE event, where each candidate would have an opportunity to present an opening statement, answer questions from the moderator, answer questions from the audience, and present a closing statement. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced us to make the difficult decision to cancel this annual event out of an abundance of caution for community health and safety. Due to the pandemic, North Plainfield Education Association will also not be able to participate in their annual Get Out the Vote campaigning event within the North Plainfield community. However, we will do everything we can to still keep the North Plainfield community excited about the upcoming election without doing so in large venues where public health experts say the virus can be easily spread.
What is a board of education? School board members make up the largest body of elected officials in the United States. In general, to run for school board, you have to be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the state, a resident of the district, a registered voter and eligible under the state constitution to be elected to public office. What do they do? School boards make a number of important decisions and establish a vision for the community’s schools. They have to set up and maintain an effective, efficient organizational structure for the district that allows the superintendent and administrators to manage the schools, allowing educators to educate and students to learn. A school board has a symbolic role as well. The behavior it shows off in the meeting room, the rapport among school board members and the relationships that members have with educators and administrators in the district all add up to the climate of public education in a community.
Candidates for North Plainfield Board of Education were required to file a nominating petition by July 27, 2020 with the county clerk for their name to appear on the election ballot. While school board membership doesn’t require a degree in education or a background in politics, it does require a sincere interest in the community, its children, and their education. North Plainfield Education Association would like to extend our best wishes to all of the candidates in the election on November 3, 2020.