The New Jersey School Boards Association’s board of directors met in-person and virtually on Friday, March 24, 2023. President Irene LeFebvre presided over the meeting from the Association’s headquarters in Trenton. Immediate Past President Michael McClure and Vice Presidents Bruce Young and Tammy Smith also participated in the meeting from Association headquarters.  Vice President Dr. Karen Cortellino participated virtually.  Executive Director Dr. Timothy J. Purnell provided his report to the board from headquarters.

The board of directors approved the following items:

  • NJSBA 2023-2024 budget.
  • Open session minutes of the Jan. 27, 2023, board of directors meeting.
  • Legislative Committee appointments.

Executive Director’s Report  Purnell addressed NJSBA activities and the progress made in enabling school districts to meet the challenges presented to them, including those of the public health crisis, ensuring that members continue to benefit from essential training, advocacy, and direct service.

NJSBA 2023-2024 Budget The board of directors unanimously approved the NJSBA 2023-2024 budget. The budget for the next school year includes a 7.5% increase in revenue and expenses versus the current budget. The 2023-2024 budget for Workshop includes a higher level of revenues and profit compared to the 2022-2023 budget based on the success of Workshop 2022, which was the first in-person Workshop in three years.

Ad Hoc Dues Reassessment Committee Report  The Ad Hoc Dues Reassessment Committee was appointed in September 2022. The committee was charged to review the current NJSBA dues structure to ensure annual dues are equitably distributed across all boards of education, making sure to maintain the ability of the Association to provide current and future services. The committee chair – Smith – discussed the group’s final report.

Firearms Safety Task Force Report On March 6, NJSBA released the final report of the Firearms Safety Task Force Report. The Task Force was headed by former NJSBA president Ray Wiss, with assistance from Vince De Lucia, NJSBA’s educator-in-resident, and Frank Belluscio, the Association’s former deputy executive director and communications director. The task force reviewed data and research on firearm death and injuries; the impact of children’s exposure to violence; effective strategies to protect children from accidental injury; safe gun storage, handing and use; and school- and community-based partnerships that address students’ mental and emotional health, overcoming trauma and defusing conflict. The report is more than 50 pages and offers boards of education 24 recommendations to consider. These suggested actions reflect strategies endorsed by child welfare organizations, gun-owner groups, the medical community, public health experts, and education organizations. The task force recognizes that there is not one singular path to keeping children safe but recommends that every board of education review the report and determine the strategies that will best enhance safety in their community.

Negotiations Data Portal  The Negotiations Data Portal is a new members-only service that provides comparative data on contract settlements throughout the state. The feedback for this service has been terrific since it debuted last month. Members can log in at any time, select their relevant search criteria and run their own reports. An added benefit of the Negotiations Data Portal is that it reflects the most recent data that has been reported, where previously certain data was updated monthly or twice a year. The Negotiations Data Portal can be found on the NJSBA website under Our Services > Legal and Labor Relations. Members must sign in to use the portal.

Workshop 2023  Workshop 2023 is taking place Oct. 23-26 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The theme for this year is “Today’s Students…Tomorrow’s Superheroes.” The Workshop website, registration, and housing open April 3. The call for programs will be sent out in April and the call for student performance proposals was sent out on March 21. Sponsorship sales through the first right of renewal are ongoing and exhibit floor booth and sponsorship opportunities will open to the public on April 3 as well.

The board of directors also received reports from the president, vice president for county activities, vice president for finance, vice president for legislation/resolutions, and immediate past president, and detailed reports from NJSBA staff on advocacy and legislation and the NJSBA 2023-2024 budget.

Information items included Association financials, legal case summary, NJSBA Delegate Assembly update, dues assessment committee report, nominees for NJSBA officer positions and written reports from officers.