News & Resources

New Jersey passes bill to screen board of education members

Feb 22, 2011 Matt Roesly

The New Jersey state legislature unanimously approved a bill that will require all Board of Education members in the state to undergo a background check. The bill, which passed 76-0 with one abstention, will make screening mandatory for anyone who is elected or appointed to a local board of education. Under the terms of the bill, anyone with a personal history that would prevent them from joining a faculty would also be barred from serving on a board. Additionally, anyone who rises to such a position must submit to the screening within 30 days of being designated. The individual will also be responsible for the cost of the screening, though he or she may use unspent campaign funds. Crimes stipulated within the bill that would disqualify a candidate include any crime of the first or second degree, an offense involving the manufacture, transportation, sale, possession, distribution or habitual use of a controlled dangerous substance or "drug paraphernalia" and a crime involving the use of force or the threat of force.