Voters in 522 school districts will select school board candidates on Tuesday, Nov. 3, as New Jerseyans head to the polls for the General Election.
Four years after legislation permitted local school boards to move their elections to November, almost all New Jersey districts have done that: Only 16 school districts still hold elections in April. Another 43 districts have appointed boards.
A total of 1,861 candidates are running for 1,528 open school board seats across the state, meaning there is a ratio of 1.22 candidates running for every available seat. Last year, there were 1.23 candidates per seat.
More than half of open seats, 805, are uncontested, and there were no petitions filed for 130 of the openings on school boards. Often, on election day, write-in candidates emerge to fill the seats where no petitions have been filed.
Of the candidates running for office, 1,198, or 64 percent, are incumbents.
The current filing deadline for school board candidacy falls in late July. “School board members hold a very important position, making decisions that pertain to the curriculum, finances, contract negotiations, and other key issues involved in operating the public schools,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “We applaud those citizen volunteers who are running to serve on their school boards. We at NJSBA would like to see a later filing deadline, as we believe it would encourage even more New Jerseyans to seek these important offices.”
Later this week, NJSBA will release information on school bond referendums and other questions on the Nov. 3 ballot.