350 NJ School Board Members Must Resign for Failing to Do Background Checks

They did not meet a Dec. 31 deadline.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of school board members throughout New Jersey must step down because they did not complete background checks as required by Dec. 31, according to a report. News4's Pat Battle reports. (Published Thursday, Jan 5, 2012)

    Hundreds of school board members throughout New Jersey must step down because they did not complete background checks as required by Dec. 31, according to a report.

    The deadline was imposed by a new law last year. Officials who did not complete the background checks in time and refuse to resign also could face criminal charges, the Star-Ledger reported.

    Out of the state's 5,300 school board members, 354 did not submit the criminal checks. That includes 165 charter school members and 189 non-charter school members, the paper said.

    Three board members did the checks but were fired because of their criminal histories.

    Board members received letters over the summer, and were sent follow-up notices again last month reminding them of the law and deadline.

    "If you don't complete the background check, and you try to stick around, you risk going to jail," Assemblyman Jerry Green told the Star-Ledger.

    Officials who go to school board meetings and try to vote could even be arrested, Green told the paper.

    Department of Education spokesman Richard Vespucci said all affected board members will be notified by the end of the week. The state will also release the names of those people.

    Green initiated the legislation last year to stop elected officials with possible criminal histories from becoming school board members.