State law, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1, requires that school board members for public school districts, including charter schools, undergo criminal background checks within 30 days of election or appointment. Incumbent school board members who were reelected Nov. 8 do not have to undergo criminal background checks.

Under the law, board members who do not complete the fingerprinting process within the 30-day period following election could be declared ineligible to serve in office. If the completed criminal history review reveals conviction(s) for any of the offenses listed in N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1.2, the individual will be disqualified from office.

The New Jersey School Boards Association urges all new board members to complete the fingerprint application as soon as possible to address any potential questions before the January organization meetings take place.

A criminal history background check must be completed within 30 days of the election or appointment to take the oath of office. The 30-day period commences upon certification of the votes or confirmation of the appointment.

You can view detailed information with instructions for new applicants here. To schedule an appointment, access the Office of Student Protection website.

School board members who underwent criminal background checks for employment in another New Jersey school district after Feb. 21, 2003, will have their fingerprints on file. However, they must complete an abbreviated online application process, also accessible at the NJDOE Office of Student Protection webpage.

Contact the NJDOE Office of Student Protection at 609-376-3999 for additional information.