A meeting of NJSBA’s Board of Directors took place on Friday, May 13, at NJSBA headquarters in Trenton. The agenda included the following:
- Recognized new board of directors alternate member Deven Patel, representing Middlesex County.
- Approved the NJSBA Executive Director’s evaluation.
- Approved a grant request from the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey to provide funding from ACES administration fees to support county school boards association and other training programs in 2016-2017.
- Approved the following consent agenda items: open session minutes and closed session minutes of the March 18, 2016 Board of Directors meeting.
- Received an update on activities from the NJSBA President, Vice President for Finance and Immediate Past President:
- President – Highlight of the week was representing NJSBA at the New Jersey PTA Student Arts Awards Ceremony and Conference in Princeton on April 16. Students across the state were recognized for their accomplishments in the areas of art, music, dance, poetry and visual arts.
- Immediate Past President – Attended the NJSBA iSTEAM field trip to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, where the participants saw the construction of the new James Webb Telescope in progress. Participants also met Dr. John Mather, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physics. NJSBA continues to discuss ways to expand its relationship with NASA.
- Vice President for Finance – Thanked the board of directors for approving the ACES grant request from ELFNJ. Acknowledged Fran Pullo, director of finance, for his outstanding job. Mr. Pullo is retiring after more than 15 years of service at NJSBA.
- Vice President for County Activities – Attended a meeting in almost every county this year. Over the past three years, statewide participation in the county meetings has increased by more than two-thirds. Training has improved, with high-level discussions on PARCC, school security, dealing with student stress, school information systems, and legal issues. Acknowledged the County Activities & Member Engagement staff –Ray Pinney, director, and Patricia Rees and Marcia Lavigne, county activities coordinators—for their work.
A concentrated effort was made to attract local legislators to the county meetings. The response was overwhelming. Assembly Speaker Prieto; Assemblywoman (and former Assembly Speaker) Sheila Oliver; Senator Nellie Pou, and many other lawmakers attended meetings and interacted with local board members, participated in panel discussions and answered questions.
A record number of school board members achieved their certifications through NJSBA’s Board Member Academy training programs: 95 new Certificated Board Members, 30 Master Board members, 12 Certified Board Members, 18 Board Certifications, and 2 New Board Member Certifications. In addition, 54 Milestone Awards were given out to members with 20 or more years of service.
The Board of Directors members also viewed a video about this year’s county school boards association meetings.
- Received an update from the Executive Director:
- Announced the publication of Fundamentals of School Board Membership. The 105-page publication is an anthology on critical areas of school board responsibility. The publication may be accessed by members free of charge through the NJSBA website. Printed copies will also be distributed at certain NJSBA programs.
- Presented an NJSBA, “Unfunded and Underfunded State and Federal Mandates: A Burden on Local School Districts.” The report addresses special education/IDEA, state testing, the evaluation process, the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, and workers’ compensation requirements. The report includes the results of a statewide survey of board presidents, superintendents and school business administrators.
- Reported on the advancement of legislation consistent with the recommendations of the NJSBA Special Education Task Force and the NJSBA School Security Task Force and an update on NJSBA’s work with the National School Boards Association in support of federal-level initiatives that will benefit the operation and financing of New Jersey’s public schools, including the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- For the seventh consecutive year, NJSBA’s budget calls for no dues increase. In 2015, NJSBA non-dues revenue passed the 30 percent mark for only the second time in the Association’s history. Non-dues revenue will increase even further under the 2016-2017 budget, due to the growth of the NJSBA Corporate Partnership Program, Workshop sponsorships and other efforts.
- Will appear on NJTV, New Jersey’s public television stations, in an interview with Steve Adubato. The topic will be board member training and NJSBA’s Board Member Academy.
- Received a presentation on the new NJSBA member service VMWare. With VMware, NJSBA has started a Cooperative Pricing System for the NJSBA Technology for Education and Careers service. It will give school boards the opportunity to purchase VMware cloud services at deeply discounted rates.
Significantly, by using a single procurement number secured by NJSBA, there will be no legal requirement for school districts to go through the extended public bidding process. In addition, districts that belong to NJSBA’s ACES energy-buying program—over 400 statewide—can start purchasing products through NJSBA TEC immediately by using their ACES procurement number. NJSBA believes that there will be a nationwide market for this service.
- The advocacy update included a report on the federal government’s guidance on transgender students and the need for districts to have a transgender policy in place; and, S-2099, a proposal in the state Legislature that would prevent school districts with November elections to move them back to April.
- The Workshop 2016 update focused on the new on-line registration process and the three-county pilot program for printing badges on-site at the convention center.
- Information items included Association financials, Delegate Assembly update (5/14/16), Fundamentals of School Board Membership, GO Policies 6603.1R/6603.1E, legal case summary, the president’s and officers’ reports, and the report on Unfunded and Underfunded Mandates.