The NJSBA Board of Directors met on Friday, Sept. 14, at the Association’s headquarters in Trenton.

The Board of Directors approved the following agenda items:

Consent Agenda Items:

  • Open session minutes of the May 11, 2018 meeting
  • Closed session minutes of the May 11, 2018 meeting
  • Legislative Committee Appointments
  • Extension of payment of dues for Board of Director members’ districts

Roll Call Agenda Items:

  • Request of the Education Leadership Foundation of New Jersey for funding through the Alliance for Competitive Energy Services for a grant for $130,000 to support the county association programs for fiscal year 2018-2019.
  • First reading of GO/4133 – Travel Authorization and Meal Expense revisions, allowing the Executive Director to authorize expenditures above the travel and meal expense allowance when there is a philanthropic or financial benefit to the Association.

Nominating Committee Elections:  Article X, Section 3 of the NJSBA Bylaws requires that the Nominating Committee be established prior to the May Delegates Meeting.

Governance and Operations File Code 84624 outlines the composition of the Nominating Committee. Board of Directors members of the Nominating Committee shall be elected one each from the four geographical areas. In order to meet the deadlines prior to the May Delegate Assembly, the Board of Directors elected its representatives at the Sept. 14 meeting.

  • Northwest Area (Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren): Laurie Markowski, Flemington-Raritan Regional Board of Education, Hunterdon County
  • Northeast Area (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union): Sheli Dansky, River Edge Board of Education, Bergen County
  • Central Area (Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean): Jennifer Montone, Burlington City Board of Education, Burlington County
  • Southern Area (Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem): Anne Erickson, Greater Egg Harbor Regional Board of Education, Atlantic County

Executive Director’s Report: 

  • Basic School Law, part of NJSBA’s School Board Library Series, is being updated and a new volume is scheduled to be available by late spring.
  • The Non-College-Bound Learner Task Force report has been completed and will be rolled out on Oct. 2.  The goal for the coming year is to advance the findings and recommendations of that study and advocate for funding and initiatives to expand post-secondary opportunities for the career-focused.
  • A task force will begin meeting this fall to study the nexus of mental health services with school security, healthy school climate, and overall student health and wellness.  The task force will consult with experts in mental health, counseling, school climate and related areas.  The study group will issue a report by the end of the fiscal year.
  • The NJSBA Governmental Relations team continued its tradition of summer meetings with lawmakers.  The visits give NJSBA members the opportunity to meet face to face, with their state and federal elected representatives.  Over the past few years, the number of district visits has increased as part of the NJSBA plan to provide an advocacy framework at the local level.
  • The 2018-2019 state budget, along with Senate Bill 2, changes the school funding landscape.  For about two-thirds of our members, the legislation promises to put school funding back on track. But it also resulted in last-minute funding cuts—some severe—in the remaining one third of districts.  This fall, NJSBA will conduct three regional meetings for districts that have suffered cuts in state aid.  The programs will provide forums where school board members can address their particular situations, learn about options, and receive guidance on advocacy.
  • On Aug. 9, the New Jersey Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup issued a report on reducing the cost of government.  For public education, the report, called “Path to Progress,” focuses primarily on two areas:  regionalization and special education.  The working group also made recommendations to control the cost of health benefits for public employees.  Following the release of the report, NJSBA issued a public statement expressing our position on the recommendations:
  • First, NJSBA encourages districts to consider regionalization. However, voters in the affected communities must have the final say on the matter and only after a study of the educational and financial impact is conducted.
  • Second, as reflected in NJSBA’s 2013 Special Education Task Force Report, as well as its policy, the Association supports efforts to alleviate the financial difficulties school districts face in providing special education services.
  • Third, NJSBA has been a leader among education organizations in advocating for strategies to control rising health benefit costs.
  • The legislature is continuing discussion of bills requiring depression screenings in an effort to control the level of teen suicides, mandatory videotaping of all board of education meetings, and cost-reimbursement for local food services providers.
  • Dr. Feinsod reported that Workshop 2018 is well on its way toward meeting its training, attendance and revenue goals.  Earlier this month, the exhibit floor sold out.  Now in its third year, the STEAM Tank Challenge is growing in popularity.  The first STEAM Tank Challenge, in 2016, attracted 32 entries.  Last year, that number grew to 193 student teams.  For 2018, 409 schools entered the competition.
  • In the last fiscal year, NJSBA met overall revenue goals and maintained a high level of service, while controlling expenditures.  As a result, the 2018-2019 budget has no dues increase, representing the ninth consecutive year in which there has been no increase in district dues.  The independent auditor has given NJSBA a clean report, with no recommendations.

Other Business: The Board of Directors recognized outgoing members, Gail David, who represented Camden County and Marsha Hershman, who represented the Urban Boards.  Also recognized was new alternate member Erika Jacho, representing Essex County.  The following members were also recognized for moving from the alternate position to the member position:  Naomi Davidson, representing Camden County, and William Monk, representing the Urban Boards.

In addition, the Board of Directors:

  • Received reports from the Executive Director, President, Immediate Past President, Vice President for County Activities and Vice President for Legislation/Resolutions, and
  • Discussed shared service programs that are in place in their districts.

Information items included Executive Director’s Goals 2018-2019, GO/3433R Hiring of Auditor, GO/4133.3R Meal Allowance, GO/8600R Periodic Review of Bylaws, Legal Case Summary, Member Dues Update 2018-2019, November 2018 Delegate Assembly Update, President & Officers’ Reports, Bylaws Committee list, Standards and Assessment Committee Report, and the Non-College Bound Learner Task Force Report Executive Summary.