Here are facts about roles for students on school boards in New Jersey collected by SoundOut for our Students on School Boards Toolbox.

District School Boards

  •  In 1972, the New Jersey state department of education reported that they encouraged local school boards to consider roles for students on school boards.
  • Today, students can join district school boards but cannot vote on them.
  • 60% of school districts in New Jersey report they include student voice in school board meetings to some effect (see “More Info” below).
  • Students in New Jersey who are under 18 serve in an advisory capacity that is appointed for a one-year term.
  • They have no voting representation.
  • Students who are 18 years old or older and meet the voting requirements are elected for a three-year term.
  • They may vote on anything not directly relating to their own school.

New Jersey State Board of Education

  • Today, students can join the state school board but cannot vote.
  • Students serving in an advisory capacity are appointed for a one-year term.
  • Students who are 18 years old or older and meet the voting requirements can be elected for a three-year term.
  • There is one student advisor to the New Jersey State Board of Education
  • The student representative is chosen by the New Jersey Association of Student Councils.
  • The student representative must be in 11th grade or above, including “adult school students.”
  • This position has been in place since 1976.
  • The New Jersey Department of Education voluntarily includes one student “guest” to sit with the State Board for a one-year term.
  • According to the Department of Education, “Students are generally junior, senior, or adult school students who have a special interest in Department of Education practices and policies.  The student is invited to present a three-minute speech on an educational topic of the student’s choice.”
  • Additionally, the State Board invites two other rotating student guests to attend each monthly meeting.
  • Student guests are not required to be enrolled in public school.
  • The New Jersey State Board of Education voluntarily seeks this student input.
  • There is no legislation in New Jersey mandating student input.
  • Each year the New Jersey Association of Student Councils (NJASC) selects one student to serve a one-year term on the State Board.
  • The NJASC also selects one of the two rotating guests.
  • The Division of Regional Services selects the second rotating guest from districts throughout the state.
  • The Department selects students who represent “a broad geographic distribution of urban, suburban, and rural districts as well as vocational, private, parochial, alternative, or special needs schools.”

New Jersey School Board Association

  • They are not formal members of the state school board association, and do not receive specific training to support their involvement.

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Published by SoundOut

SoundOut is an international technical support project focused on student voice, student engagement and Meaningful Student Involvement. We offer workshops, tools and technical assistance to K-12 schools including teachers, administrators and students themselves. For more information visit our About Us page.

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