Press Releases

REMINDER: July 31 School Board Candidacy Deadline Approaching


Citizens interested in running for local school board office must file nominating petitions with their county clerk by 4 p.m., Monday, July 31 for their names to appear on the November 7 General Election ballot.

Nominating petitions must be signed by at least 10 registered voters of the school district (or in the case of a regional school district, 10 registered voters of the constituent municipality that the candidate would represent on the regional board). Approximately 530 of the state’s local school districts elect board of education members in November.

Information about the school board nominating process is available on the New Jersey School Boards Association’s candidates’ information webpage at

Sign Up for E-News

By law, school board membership is a non-partisan public office. It is also unpaid.


Below are frequently asked questions about school board membership and the election process.

What is the role of the local school board?

The local board of education sets the policies that guide school district operations, affecting what is taught in the classroom and how it is taught, as well as staffing, extracurricular programming, and the use of school buildings. It adopts curriculum, approves the budget, hires and evaluates the superintendent, and negotiates contracts with staff, including teachers.

Local school board members do not run the schools—that’s the job of the superintendent and administration. But together with their fellow board members, they ensure that the schools are well-run.

How long are board member terms?

Elected school board positions consist of three-year terms. However, unexpired terms of one or two years may also appear on the ballot.

What are the legal qualifications for local school board membership?

To serve on a local school board in New Jersey, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, have at least one year’s residency in the school district (or, in the case of a regional school district, in the constituent municipality he or she would represent on the board), and be a registered voter in the district or constituent municipality. In addition, the “Qualifications” statute, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1, cites a list of disqualifying criminal offenses. (Newly elected board members must undergo a criminal history record check in order to serve in office.)

Board members may not serve on the municipal governing body or as mayor, and may not have a contract with, or claim against, the board (N.J.S.A. 18A:12-2, “Inconsistent interest or office prohibited”). In addition, a 2007 statute restricts the holding of two elected offices simultaneously N.J.S.A. 19:3-5.2.

Must a school board member have a background in education?

School board membership in New Jersey is based on the concept of lay control. The board of education is elected from the citizenry, and its members should have a genuine interest in the educational well-being of the community’s students. However, they do not have to be experts in curriculum, school law, finance or collective bargaining. The school board establishes goals for the district in areas ranging from student achievement, to finance and facilities. And it works with the administration toward meeting the goals, while holding it accountable for progress.

The State of New Jersey requires school board members to undergo training in each year of the first term in office, and in the year following reelection. Programming addresses ethics, superintendent evaluation, the responsibilities of board membership, school finance, student achievement, the state’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, and other legal developments

The New Jersey School Boards Association, a federation of the state’s local boards of education,  provides the required training at no cost through a variety of in-person and online programs. Additionally, through its Board Member Academy, NJSBA offers specialized training in school board leadership, negotiations, school law, and other areas.

For additional information about school board responsibilities, qualifications for candidacy, nominating petitions, and the location of county clerks offices, visit NJSBA’s school board candidacy information page at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somerset Hills

Former Somerset County Prosecutor Named Interim Secretary/Director for County Park Commission

March 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Former Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano has been appointed interim Somerset County Park Secretary/Director by the Somerset County Park Commissioners.

Soriano's appointment is effective April 2, and he will replace Raymond Brown, who announced his retirement, effective May 1. The announcement, according to a release, was made on the day of ...

No 2018 Run Against Lance for Craig Heard

March 20, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - Asserting it's more important to keep Democrats at bay than to become a Congressman, Succasunna resident Craig Heard said Monday he will not wage a primary election challenge this year against U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th Dist.).

Heard, who unsuccessfully tried to beat Lance in the 2016 GOP primary, had been weighing another run against the 5-term ...

Peterson welcomes Murphy’s investigation of utilities’ poor response to power outages

March 21, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Hunterdon) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement directing the BPU to investigate state utility companies’ response to the two recent nor’easters that left hundreds of thousands without power:

Erik Peterson

“We appreciate the governor visiting Sussex county today to ...