The Delegate Assembly
The Delegate Assembly is the major policy-making body of the Association. Two regular meetings of the NJSBA delegates are held each year, in May/June and November/December, at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors. The May/June meeting is deemed the annual meeting of the NJSBA. The delegates determine policies on issues received for the Delegate Assembly agenda in resolutions, committee reports, and policies for sunset review. The resulting policy language is included in NJSBA’s Manual of Positions and Policies on Education. The delegates may also act to amend the NJSBA Bylaws.
The officers (Executive Committee) are elected for two-year terms at the May/June meeting in even-numbered years. Special elections are held to fill midterm vacancies.
Fifty delegates representing at least 11 counties constitute a quorum for transaction of business at all meetings of the delegates. Privileges of the floor are accorded only to certified delegates. Past presidents of the Association, members of the Board of Directors, the president or other designee from a county school boards association, and members of the NJSBA staff are accorded speaking privileges only. Any other person may be accorded speaking privileges upon request made by a delegate and approved by majority vote.
Each District Board is eligible for representation by one delegate or alternate. Selection of delegates and alternates is made from among voting board members at the annual organizational meeting of each district board of education.
Certification Of Delegates
Each District Board certifies in writing to the executive director of the Association the names of delegates and alternates within 30 days after their selection and no later than four days prior to the Delegate Assembly. If the delegate and alternate are unable to attend the Delegate Assembly, any voting member of the board may be certified as an acting delegate. A certified delegate may represent, and vote on behalf of, only one board of education.
The Resolutions Process
The majority of NJSBA policies are derived from resolutions submitted by local boards of education for consideration at the NJSBA Delegate Assembly and are determined by local board members who convene as the policymaking body.
Resolutions and proposed Bylaws amendments may be submitted to the Resolutions Subcommittee, for action at any regular or special meeting of the delegates (see graphic for sources).
The NJSBA Bylaws require that notice of the resolutions cutoff date and the resolutions format are to be provided to district boards 165 days before each Delegate Assembly. Resolutions and Bylaws amendments must be received no later than 75 days before the meeting. Emergent issues that surface after the resolutions cutoff date may be submitted for consideration as an emergency resolution. Emergency resolutions must meet three criteria in order to be admitted to the Delegate Assembly agenda and must be received no later than eight days before the meeting.
The Association’s positions and policies on education are the framework for NJSBA activities and efforts in legislative, legal, program and service areas. Resolutions can create new, additional, revised or replacement policy and must provide a policy statement for the Delegate Assembly to adopt.
The Resolutions Subcommittee is authorized by the Bylaws to review resolutions, proposed bylaws amendments, and policies for sunset review to ensure that proper research has been conducted and that the delegates have as much information available as possible to aid them in their decisions. The subcommittee’s recommendations for action to the Delegate Assembly is provided in the background materials for these agenda items. Action taken by the subcommittee may be changed only by the Delegate Assembly.
The report of the Resolutions Subcommittee and all agenda items are submitted to school business administrators and county association presidents so District Boards can review these materials before the Delegate Assembly. This information includes all resolutions and proposed Bylaws amendments admitted to the agenda, along with background materials, ad hoc and standing committee reports with recommendations for delegate action, and policies and Bylaws for sunset review.
Resolutions Format: In order for a resolution to be considered by the Delegate Assembly, it must contain Whereas clauses, Resolved clauses, and a policy statement for the Delegate Assembly to adopt that resolves the issue presented to the assembly. The proposed policy language must recommend new, additional, revised or replacement policy. The resolution must also certify the date it was adopted by the sponsor.
Whereas clauses should provide, in logical sequence, factual background on the problem or policy issue the resolution will address. Each Whereas clause should be concise and contain only one fact describing the issue. The policy position the resolution calls for the Association to support is presented in the first Resolved clause in a broad policy belief statement that may be supplemented, where appropriate, with a brief action statement to guide advocacy efforts, i.e., The NJSBA believes…. In support of this belief, the NJSBA will…. The second Resolved clause asks for the resolution to be considered at the next Delegate Assembly.
Before a resolution is developed, it is good practice to check whether other policies may be related to the one you are submitting. Policies can be reviewed online through the Manual of Positions and Policies on Education. Click on Index for an alphabetical list of policy topics.
Sunset Review: A continuous process of review ensures that all Association policies are reviewed not less than once every five years. The Bylaws also are reviewed on a regular basis to determine its relevancy to Association needs.
The Delegate Assembly Handbook provides complete information on resolutions, background, and other Delegate Assembly material, including committee reports, Bylaws amendments, and policies for sunset review. Please see your current Delegate Assembly Handbook for Procedural Suggestions for Delegates and Proposed Rules for Conduct of the Delegate Assembly which guide discussion at the Delegate Assembly. In addition, a proposed slate of officers selected by the Nominating Committee and those nominated by petition are included in the Delegate Assembly Handbook whenever regular and special elections are scheduled for the Delegate Assembly.
Conduct of the Assembly
Except for committee reports, all agenda items must have a motion and a second to be discussed. Once a motion is made and seconded, it may only be changed by the Delegate Assembly. Sometimes it becomes evident in the ensuing discussion that a motion should be changed. Any delegate may move to amend an original motion or an amendment to the amendment.
At other times it may become clear that more information is needed before a decision can be made. In that case, any delegate may move to refer the motion to committee for study. Also, any delegate may move to refer a committee report back to the committee for further study.
Most motions are approved by a majority vote of the delegates present and voting. A two-thirds vote of the delegates present and voting is required to amend the Bylaws of the Association. Speaker limits are addressed in the Proposed Rules for the Conduct of the Delegate Assembly, which are adopted as the first order of business for each meeting. Motions to approve the rules, suspend the rules, extend debate, or close debate also require a two-thirds vote.