29 N.J. Board of Education members forced to resign over criminal background checks

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 18:20
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NJStateSealBY ANGELA DAIDONE
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

29 school board members in New Jersey will have to step down from their posts, according to a report on NJPR.

Under a new law introduced last year, school board members had to submit fingerprints and a criminal background check in order to stay on their respective education board, similar to the process every school employee must go through. 17 board members were found to have had a criminal conviction in their records, while another 12 did not submit their paperwork by the scheduled deadline.

Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Board Association, said he did not have a problem with BOE members undergoing the background checks, but said his organization is looking to have an appeals process included in the law.

Belluscio said there should be some consideration given to those whose “criminal infraction might have occurred 30 years ago, or did not involve child endangerment or an egregious violent act," reported NJPR.

There are 5,159 school board members who did comply with the new law, according to the N.J. Department of Education. Replacements for the dismissed board members will be determined by each municipality of county superintendent.