Seeking to elevate student voices, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Britnee N. Timberlake and Mila Jasey was signed into law on Tuesday that will require a minimum of one student representative to be included on each board of education for school districts with grades nine through 12 and on each board of trustees for charter schools with grades nine through 12.
Under the law (formerly bill A-3392/S-3392), student representatives will be selected by the student body to serve as nonvoting members for one school year term, and students will serve on a rotational basis in public school districts with multiple high schools.
Assembly sponsors Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon), Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic) and Jasey (D-Essex, Morris) released the following joint statement:
“There is great power and value to having student voices represented on school boards. Not only does it create an opportunity for civic engagement and leadership, but it also generates greater accountability among the adults for the broader impacts of their decision-making.
“At the end of the day, student feedback is essential when considering policies and issues that will directly impact them, so it is only just and in true democratic-fashion they be afforded a seat at the table.”