When traveling around the state, I often hear the same reply when I talk about one of the services, partnerships or initiatives of the New Jersey School Boards Association: “I didn’t know NJSBA did that!”

NJSBA would like all board members to know about the wide range of assistance and resources available from the Association. Here are some current services that you might not be aware of:

  • The Alliance for Competitive Energy Services, or ACES, is a service created for NJSBA members. Over the past decade, the energy aggregation program has saved school districts statewide more than $225 million in electricity and/or natural gas charges. Local school boards have been able to apply these savings to their education programs and property-tax control.
  • Membership in ACES also enables school boards to participate in the NJSBA TEC cooperative pricing system. This service enables school districts to acquire discounted technology products and services while foregoing the competitive bidding process, thereby saving administrative time and expense.
  • In-person sessions on STEAM education, sustainable practices and technology are offered at no cost to local school boards and their administrative staff members, enabling districts to secure certification through our partners, Sustainable Jersey for Schools and Future Ready Schools–NJ.
  • NJSBA is a co-founder of Sustainable Jersey for Schools. Today, more than 56 percent of the state’s school districts are Sustainable Jersey members. Since its launch in 2014, the program has awarded $1.8 million in grants to local school districts. The program provides guidance, resources, recognition and certification for sustainable practices, while advancing student learning in the STEAM education areas.
  • Future Ready Schools–NJ, a collaboration among NJSBA, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology has certified 163 public schools for their work in advancing digital learning in their curriculum.

Board members should also be aware of the full menu of NJSBA’s core services.

For example, each year, NJSBA provides school boards and their administrators with high-quality direct and support services valued at more than $5 million. These services include direct telephone access to our staff attorney for legal information; teacher contract analyses; negotiations consultation; and the Critical Policy Reference Manual, policy; updates and assistance. Our field service representatives go onsite to local school boards approximately 1,000 times each year to deliver training and consultation on school ethics, superintendent evaluation, and effective school board governance.

Through advocacy before the Legislature and action in the courts, NJSBA works for the preservation of local school district autonomy and flexibility.

On an annual basis, NJSBA provides over 100 training, information and student-focused programs through the state’s 21 county school boards associations. NJSBA covers all costs of county training programs, including meals and facilities, thereby enabling local school board members to attend these meetings at no charge.

There are many more dues-based services than I’m able to mention in this column. Read the summary. Your first source of information about NJSBA and its services is your board’s field service representative. You can Contact your FSR and selecting the “Find Your FSR” tool.

We look forward to serving your board of education in 2019-2020.