The NJSBA Annual Delegate Assembly met May 19 at The Conference Center at Mercer, West Windsor, to elect officers to serve the Association for the 2012-2014 term, to consider three Bylaws suspensions, one ad hoc committee report, three resolutions, and the sunset review of the NJSBA Positions and Policies On Education Manual, Section 5000 (Pupils).
The election of officers was covered in the May 22 issue of School Board Notes.
Suspension No. 1, Bylaws Art. VI, Sec. 9A (Meetings and Quorum), recommend waiving the requirement that the Board of Directors conduct six meetings per year. Approved.
Suspension No. 2, Bylaws Art. IV, Sec. 5 (Annual Meeting), Art. VI, Sec. 3A and 3B, (Term of Board of Directors and Alternates) and Art. VI, Sec. 4 (Organization Meeting) recommended extending terms of the currently seated Board of Directors members and alternates, to January 2013. Approved.
Suspension No. 3, Bylaws Art. IV, Sec. 5 (Annual Meeting); Art. VII, Sec. 2a; Art. VII, Sec. 4 (Qualifications and Terms of Office) recommended holding the election of officers for the 2012-2014 term at the November 2012 Delegate Assembly. Defeated.
The Report of the Ad Hoc Charter School Committee, which recommended revisions to File Code 5117 of NJSBA's Manual of Positions and Policies, was approved.
Resolution No. 1 from the Howell Board of Education (Monmouth County) requested that NJSBA seek legislation that requires any and all educational bills or regulations be reviewed and evaluated by the constitutionally formulated Council on Unfunded Mandates prior to adoption or in the alternative that any such legislation include language that such review will be completed before the legislation becomes effective. Approved the following substitute policy language:
The NJSBA believes that additional mandates imposed on local boards of education should have an identified funding source or appropriation.
The NJSBA further believes that all enacted legislation affecting education should be forwarded to the Council on Local Mandates for review; the Council should be authorized to initiate proceedings and rule on unfunded mandates without the need for local districts to file costly complaints. In the absence of the Council on Local Mandates' timely review of education legislation containing unfunded mandates, the NJSBA shall seek Board of Directors approval to initiate and file a complaint with the Council on behalf of all the local boards of education in New Jersey.
Resolution No. 2 from the Wildwood/North Wildwood Boards of Education (Cape May County) requested that NJSBA seek to provide guidance to vocational institutions to develop policy that allows equal access to vocational training to all students, prohibits preferential treatment of high academic achievers, and seek legislation to enforce equal access to vocational training. Approved with the following substitute policy language:
The NJSBA believes that county vocational school boards of education should have the ability to structure their admissions policies in a comprehensive holistic way, of which testing appropriate to the program is a component, but not the sole criteria for admission. The ultimate decision on admission should lie within the discretion of the county vocational school district.
The NJSBA further believes that the state should provide funding and support to local school districts to facilitate the development of career-readiness programs to assist students who are unable to attend county vocational programs, including revisions to the funding formula to reflect the increased per pupil cost for vocational education provided in the local high school.
Resolution No. 3 from the Red Bank Board of Education (Monmouth County) requested that NJSBA support the change of deadline for the school board candidate petitions for the general election to September, 64 days before the general election. Approved with the following substitute policy language:
The NJSBA believes that the deadline for the submission of the nominating petition for school board candidates in the November school board election should be in closer proximity to the school election than as presently set forth in statute.
The NJSBA further believes that timeframes for the November school election should be modeled after the calendar for the municipal non-partisan elections held at the general election, and the April school election calendar, to establish practical and workable deadlines.
The NJSBA further believes that the law should be amended to address inconsistencies between the statute addressing the filling of vacancies, and the date for filing the nominating petition for the November school election.
The delegates also approved the sunset review of all policies classified as Section 5000 (Pupils) of the NJSBA's Manual of Positions and Policies on Education. The adopted sunset policies can be viewed by selected the "Sunset Review" links on the NJSBA Delegate Assembly web page.