New Jersey school districts

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K-12 Education in New Jersey
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Education facts
State Superintendent: David Hespe
Number of students: 1,356,431[1]
Number of teachers: 109,719
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:12.4
Number of school districts: 700
Number of schools: 2,596
Graduation rate: 86%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $15,968[3]
See also
New Jersey Department of EducationList of school districts in New JerseyNew JerseySchool boards portal
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in New Jersey
Glossary of education terms

New Jersey is home to 700 school districts, 2,596 schools and 1,356,431 K-12 students.[4][5]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education[6]
    • Arcelio Aponte, President
    • Joseph Fisicaro, Vice President
    • Mark W. Biedron
    • Ronald K. Butcher
    • Claire Chamberlain
    • Jack Fornaro
    • Edithe Fulton
    • Ernest P. Lepore
    • Andrew J. Mulvihill
    • J. Peter Simon
    • Dr. Dorothy S. Strickland
    • Vacant
    • Vacant


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.

Student enrollment
1.) Newark
2.) Jersey City
3.) Paterson
4.) Elizabeth
5.) Toms River Regional
6.) Edison Township
7.) Passaic
8.) Woodbridge Township
9.) Camden City
10.) Hamilton Township


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in New Jersey as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[7]

Demographic Information for New Jersey's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 1,735 0.13% 1.10%
Asian 121,434 8.95% 4.68%
African American 220,238 16.24% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 3,153 0.23% 0.42%
Hispanic 305,026 22.49% 24.37%
White 693,416 51.12% 51.21%
Two or More 11,429 0.84% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson

Since 1995, the New Jersey state government has exercised control over Newark Public Schools. In 2013, the Newark Students Union led two mass boycotts against state control of the district in April and November, with the April walkout reportedly drawing about 1,000 students.[8][9] Superintendent Cami Anderson, who was appointed by Governor Chris Christie, has put forward a controversial district reform plan labeled "One Newark" that includes school closures, teacher layoffs, Teach for America hirings and changes to the district's enrollment system for both traditional and charter schools.[10] American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent a letter to Governor Christie criticizing Superintendent Anderson's plan to use teacher performance evaluations instead of seniority in deciding which teachers to layoff. She concluded the letter by arguing that the state should relinquish control of the school district.[11][12]

In May 2014, Anderson publicly rejected calls for her resignation and objections to her reforms in an interview with NJTV.[13] In the interview, she stated, "I’m an optimist and I believe our kids deserve us to keep them at the core of every decision and I believe so strongly that we can do what we need to do for our kids that I am absolutely committed to staying the course and putting kids at the core of every decision."[14] She received a three-year contract extension from the Christie administration on June 27, 2014.[15]

Superintendent Anderson's relationship with the Newark Advisory Board has also grown increasingly contentious. During a January 2014 board meeting with hundreds of parents, residents and district educators in attendance, Superintendent Anderson was heckled continuously by the crowd. AFT President Randi Weingarten also attended to denounce Superintendent Anderson's reform proposals, encouraging the opposition in the crowd by pledging AFT's support and stating, "the nation is watching Newark."[16] Superintendent Anderson and her staff left the meeting after community activist Natasha Allen allegedly referred to the superintendent's biracial child by asking, "Do you not want for our brown babies what you want for your brown baby?"[17] In February 2014, Superintendent Anderson announced that she will no longer attend board meetings on the basis that they "are no longer focused on achieving educational outcomes for children."[18]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The New Jersey State Board of Education adopted these standards on June 23, 2010, and fully implemented them during the 2013-2014 school year.[19]

School board composition

New Jersey school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed. New Jersey school board elections typically follow one of these three methods, or a mixture thereof:

  • At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
  • Trustee area: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
  • Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.

School boards typically consist of seven or nine members. School board members serve three-year terms.[20]

District types

New Jersey contains two primary types of school districts and several variations:[21]

  • Type 1 districts are dependent on municipal, township or county governments or the state government for fiscal management or school board appointments or both, depending on the district.
  • Type 2 districts are traditional districts with an elected governing body that can change tax levies and issue bonds for voter approval.
    • Consolidated districts are a Type 2 district variant that were formed from two or more school districts in the past.
    • All purpose regional districts are a Type 2 district variant that provides all school services in a region and thereby replace any other Type 1 or Type 2 districts in the area.
    • Limited regional districts are a Type 2 district variant that provides a limited number of specialized services for other school districts in the region.

Term limits

New Jersey does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[22]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: New Jersey school board elections, 2015

A total of 19 New Jersey school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections for 57 seats in 2015. Two districts will hold elections on April 21, 2015, and the remaining 17 districts will hold their elections on November 3, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about New Jersey's school board elections in 2015:

  • The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Newark Public Schools with 35,543 K-12 students.
  • The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Old Bridge Township Public Schools with 9,197 K-12 students.
  • The 19 districts are tied for the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with three seats up for election each.

The districts listed below served 282,889 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 New Jersey School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Newark Public Schools 4/21/2015 3 9 35,543
Passaic Public Schools 4/21/2015 3 9 13,136
Brick Township Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 7 9,893
Cherry Hill Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 11,248
Clifton Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 10,992
Edison Township Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 14,224
Elizabeth Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 23,386
Freehold Regional High School District 11/3/2015 3 9 11,594
Hamilton Township School District 11/3/2015 3 9 12,441
Jackson School District 11/3/2015 3 7 9,477
Jersey City Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 27,397
Middletown Township School District 11/3/2015 3 9 10,110
Old Bridge Township Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 9,197
Paterson Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 24,365
Perth Amboy Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 10,258
Toms River Regional Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 16,981
Vineland Public Schools 11/3/2015 3 9 9,734
West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District 11/3/2015 3 9 9,804
Woodbridge Township School District 11/3/2015 3 9 13,109

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in New Jersey, a person must be:

  • Able to read and write
  • A resident of the school district for at least one year before filing for office
  • Registered to vote in the school district before filing for office

A person must not be:

  • Serving in another elected office
  • Serving as a mayor or as part of a municipal or county governing body
  • Convicted of certain crimes
  • Involved in a claim against the board
  • Holding or having a stake in a contract with the board

The process of running for office as a school board candidate begins with filing nomination petitions that include a minimum of 10 signatures from qualified voters in the district. Petitions must be filed with the secretary of the board if it is for an April election or with the county clerk if it is for a November election. Candidates must also adhere to all campaign finance reporting requirements to stay on the ballot.[20]

Campaign finance

New Jersey requires all school board candidates who receive contributions of any amount to file a "Certificate of Organization and Designation of Campaign Treasurer and Depository" form with the Election Law Enforcement Commission. Campaign finance reporting deadlines vary according to whether the district holds its elections in April or November.[20]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. State of New Jersey Department of Education, "New Jersey Public Schools Fact Sheet," accessed August 8, 2013
  5. State of New Jersey Department of Education, "2012-2013 Enrollment," accessed August 8, 2013
  6. State of New Jersey Department of Education, "New Jersey State Board of Education Members," accessed June 13, 2014
  7. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  8. Al Jazeera, "Newark students walkout over cut backs," April 10, 2013
  9. Teacher Under Construction, "Newark Students Organize Boycott, Demand Local Control of Schools," November 1, 2013
  10. The Washington Post, "Gov. Christie’s new crisis: Protests grow over state control of Newark schools," February 27, 2014
  11. American Federation of Teachers, "Letter from Randi Weingarten to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the school crisis in Newark," February 26, 2014
  12. The Star-Ledger, "Newark schools chief warns of massive teacher layoffs; wants pink slips tied to performance," February 25, 2014
  13. Education Week, "Despite Calls for Resignation, Newark Superintendent Vows to Stay," June 2, 2014
  14. NJTV News, "In NJTV Exclusive, Cami Anderson Says She Plans to Stay on in Newark," May 29, 2014
  15. The Star-Ledger, "NJ officials renew contract of embattled Newark schools chief," June 27, 2014
  16. NJ Spotlight, "Raucous Newark Crowd Drives Superintendent From School Board Meeting," January 29, 2014
  17. The Huffington Post, "Newark School Chief Cami Anderson Ditches Rowdy Meeting After Remarks About Her ‘Brown Baby'," January 30, 2014
  18. The Star-Ledger, "Cami Anderson, Newark schools superintendent, at loggerheads with school board," February 27, 2014
  19. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 New Jersey School Boards Association, "How to Become a School Board Member," accessed July 11, 2014
  21. United State Census Bureau, "New Jersey," accessed July 11, 2014
  22. National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014