Two hundred thirty-four school board representatives participated in the NJSBA’s semi-annual Delegate Assembly on Saturday, Nov. 21. The meeting was held virtually, as was the spring 2020 Delegate Assembly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delegates approved, by a vote of 114-17, a resolution addressing board of education members running for another seat on their board before their own term of office has been completed.
The approved resolution, which was introduced by the Lodi Board of Education in Bergen County, reads:
The NJSBA believes that a board member whose seat is not up for reelection in the upcoming election cycle should resign the seat currently held before submitting a nominating petition to become a candidate for a board seat other than the seat currently held by the member on the same board.
Nancy Delgado, the vice president of the Lodi Board of Education, spoke on the resolution to the delegates, noting that her board had experienced a situation where a sitting board member with a year left on his term sought another open seat on the board.
The resolution is consistent with Kueken v. Guzman, a 1990 decision by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education, which addressed a similar situation. In that case the commissioner found that the board member must resign a current seat in order to be eligible to run for a new seat. “We do not believe that the Legislature, in prescribing three-year terms for elected school board members, intended to have such terms extended irregularly by means of sitting members seeking to prolong their tenure other than by succeeding themselves,” the decision noted.
Report by Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA’s executive director, updated delegates on the successful Virtual Workshop 2020, the Association’s activities to keep members informed and connected, and the series of research reports released by NJSBA to help member districts navigate the challenges of educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also spoke on NJSBA’s recent successful advocacy efforts and its successful partnerships within and outside of the educational community.
NJSBA President Mike McClure opened the meeting, noting that New Jersey’s local board of education members are more engaged than ever, attending NJSBA’s training and professional development, and using the Association’s direct services. “In the midst of our national health crisis, our members remain focused on children and on finding ways to address the educational problems presented by the pandemic,” said McClure.
The Delegate Assembly sets the policies that determine the Association’s position on educational issues and establishes bylaws that govern its operations. NJSBA’s positions and policies are the framework for NJSBA activities and efforts on legislative, legal, program and service areas.