News & Resources

New Jersey district adheres to BOE screening law

Aug 01, 2011 Matt Roesly

Members of the Westwood, New Jersey, Regional Board of Education recently amended the organization's background check policy to comply with state law, Pascack Valley Community Life reports. Governor Chris Christie signed legislation in May that bans service on local and charter school boards by those convicted of certain crimes, such as first- and second-degree drug possessions, according to the Star-Ledger. PVCL notes that Westwood board members must undergo checks within 30 days of being elected. It also provided that same time frame for current board members to be screened following the bill's passage on May 26. However, superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller notes the screening legislation isn't universal. "Interestingly enough, that doesn't apply to all elected officials," said Zoeller, quoted by the news source. "I'm not sure why the legislature didn't think that didn't apply to themselves or other elected officials, but it certainly applies to boards of ed." The cost of the check - between $70 and $80 - must initially be paid out-of-pocket by board members, however they will eventually be reimbursed by the district.