Filing Deadline, Monday, July 27, 2020

Consider School Board Candidacy!

Congratulations! You have taken the first step toward filling a vital role for your community – that of a school board member.

NJSBA’s Candidate Kit provides vital resources (downloadable PDFs listed below), as well as links to important websites for anyone considering running for their local school board.

Annual Election Dates A 2012 law gives communities the option to change the date of the school board member elections from the third Tuesday in April to the General Election in November. Although the majority of school districts have changed to November school elections, please check with your local board of education office to confirm the date of the 2020 school election in your community.

If you are considering serving on your school board, take advantage of NJSBA’s online briefings that provide details about the responsibilities of serving on a local board of education. NJSBA’s online briefings include three videos that address leadership, legal issues, and the role of a board member. Candidates can also listen to a recorded online radio broadcast, “What Board Members Need to Know When They’re Elected.”

“The work of a school board has become increasingly complex, but rest assured, if you’re elected or appointed to your school board, you won’t ‘go it alone.’ As New Jersey’s only service organization whose sole mission is to train, assist and represent the state’s local boards of education, the New Jersey School Boards Association will be with you every step of the way.”

– Michael R. McClure, President, New Jersey School Boards Association


2020-important-November Election dates
2020 General Elections Timeline (NJ DOE, 4/8/20)
Dates for 2020 School Election and Budget Procedures (NJ DOE, 4/8/20) 
2020 Sample Press Release
November 2020 Vote Poster

NOMINATING PETITIONS – Filing Deadline, Monday, July 27, 2020

UPDATE ON ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES AND SUBMISSION OF CANDIDATE PETITIONS  –  On July 1, 2020, Governor Murphy signed into law A-4037 that would require an electronic process for the collection of petition signatures and their submission for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Please contact yourCounty Board of Elections for details.

INDIVIDUAL AND JOINT FILING – Legislation enacted in 2018 permits board of education candidates to circulate nominating petitions  jointly and to be bracketed together on the ballot. Below are two sample petitions: one for an individual filing and one for joint filing.

EMAIL ADDRESSES – A 2018 statute requires that a nominating petition for any state, county, school, or municipal elective public office include a functioning email address for the candidate. 

CIRCULATOR FOR PETITIONS – On March 31, 2014, the Honorable Mary Jacobson, A.J.S.C., Assignment Judge of Mercer County, issued an opinion and order in the case of Empower Our Neighborhood, et al. v. Guadagno, et al. The order states, in part, that a circulator for school board nomination petitions is not required to be a registered voter or resident of the jurisdiction of the candidate, but must otherwise be eligible to vote in New Jersey.  Attorney General’s Ruling

SAMPLE PETITIONS – Board candidates are reminded that some county boards of elections require the use of a county-specific nominating petition and other forms. Candidates should contact their county clerk for details concerning the proper form(s) to use for candidacy in the annual school board  elections. NJ-County-Clerk-Contact-Information.

The deadline for submission of 2020 November election nominating petitions to the county clerk–for both individual and joint filings–is 4:00 p.m. July 27, 2020.

Individual Sample Nominating Petition

Joint Sample Nominating Petition



CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS CHECK: Board members must complete A criminal history record check through the New Jersey Department of Education within 30 days of election or appointment. The 30-day period commences upon the certification of election results or upon confirmation of the appointment. For information, visit

CAMPAIGN REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: Contacting the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC)

    • All candidates for school board office must comply with the provisions of the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act. For further information, and downloadable reporting forms, contact the ELEC.
    • 2020 NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission ELEC Reporting Dates
    • Toll free: 1-888-313-3532 • Fax: 1-609-633-9854

Ten Things School Board Candidates—and Newly Elected Board Members—Should Know

View NJSBA’s online video series for school board candidates,“Ten Things Every School Board Candidate Should Know before Taking Office”. The series contains important information for candidates—and for newly elected board members. Topics include criminal history record checks for newly elected board members; the Sunshine Law; the Board Member Code of Ethics; mandated training; and professional development opportunities.

On-line Candidate Briefings: What Candidates Need to Know When Elected

To help potential candidates understand the roles and responsibilities of school board members, the New Jersey School Boards Association offers online Candidate Briefings. These programs address the structure and responsibilities of local school boards in New Jersey. The programs include:

For more information, contact NJSBA’s Communications Department at (609) 278-5209.