• How to Become a School Board Member

    Legal Requirements

    To become a member of a local board of education in New Jersey, you must:
    • Be able to read and write.
    • Hold citizenship and one year's residency in the school district.
    • Have no interest in any contract with, or claim against, the board.
    • Not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal governing body.
    • Be registered to vote in the district.
    Membership By Election

    Board members living in a Type II school district (such as Scotch Plains-Fanwood) are elected by the district's voters at the general election for terms of three years. To be included on the ballot, you must:
    • Obtain the signatures of at least 10 qualified voters living within the district, one of which may be your own.
    You can gather support for your candidacy by communicating your goals and aims for the schools to the electorate.
    Campaigning for Election

    Nominating petitions

    Each candidate for election, including an incumbent, must be nominated directly by petition, signed by at least ten persons (one of whom may be the candidate).

    Each nominating petition
    , addressed to the County Clerk must state the following:
    • That the signers are qualified district voters at least 18 years of age
    • The name, residence and post office address of the candidate and the office for which the candidate is endorsed
    • That the signers endorse the candidate and ask that his or her name be printed on the ballot
    • That the candidate is legally qualified to be a school board member
    One of the signers must make a sworn statement that the petition is prepared in good faith, that he or she saw all of the signatures included in the petition and that he or she believes that the signers are duly qualified voters.

    With the nominating petition, the candidate must include a signed statement certifying that he or she is qualified to be a school board member, consents to be a candidate, and will accept the office if elected. In 2012, nominating petitions must be filed with the County Clerk, 2 Broad Street, Room 113, Elizabeth, NJ 07201-2299 before 4:00 p.m., June 5, 2012.

    Reporting of Expenditures

    All candidates are required by law to comply with the provisions of The New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act. For further information, call the Election Law Enforcement Commission at (609) 292-8700, or visit its website, www.elec.state.nj.us.

    Deadlines for filing campaign contribution forms are listed in the flier, "Important 2012 School Election Dates." The flier is part of the NJSBA's School Board Candidate Kit.

    Campaign Materials

    Candidates and committees subject to the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act are required to include "Paid for by" language in all campaign materials. "Paid for by" language must include the name and address of the committee, individual or group, and clearly state that the entity financed the communication. Examples of "Paid for by" language may be found in ELEC's Compliance Manual.