State Board of Examiners
The State Board of Examiners is the educator licensing agency in New Jersey in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:6-34 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-1 et seq. It issues all certificates that are required for public school employment. Individuals must hold the appropriate New Jersey certification in order to be employed as teaching staff members in the public schools of this state. The State Board of Examiners renders decisions on various cases which include, but are not limited to, decisions to revoke or suspend an educator's certificate(s), appeals of decisions of the Office of Recruitment, Preparation, and Certification and review of applications from individuals who have a criminal record. The New Jersey School Law webpage provides information on State Board of Examiners legal decisions.
The Board meets nine times a year between September and July. Due to ongoing public health concerns, monthly meetings of the State Board of Examiners will be held via Microsoft Teams. The public meetings begin at 10:30 a.m.
The State Board of Examiners
The Commissioner of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, appoints Board members to two-year terms of office. The terms are staggered to provide continuity. A vacancy is filled for the unexpired term only. The Assistant Commissioner serves as chair of the Board, and the Director of the Office of Recruitment, Preparation, and Certification serves as Board Secretary.
By law, the State Board of Examiners consists of:
- The Commissioner of Education ex officio;
- An assistant commissioner of education;
- Two State college presidents;
- A county superintendent;
- A superintendent of a Type I district;
- A superintendent of a Type II district;
- A school business administrator;
- A high school principal;
- An elementary school principal;
- A school librarian; and
- Four teaching staff members other than a superintendent, principal, school business administrator or librarian.
- AbdulSaleem Hasan, Superintendent, East Orange School District
- Derek Jess, School Business Administrator, Summit School District
- Kristen Ludman, Teacher, Pemberton School District
- Dr. Mary Jane McNally, Librarian, Bernards Township School District
- Dayna Desiderio Orlak, Teacher, Waldwick School District
- Melissa Pearce, Interim Executive County Superintendent, Hudson County
- Thelma Ramsey, Principal, East Orange School District
As the Director of the Office of Recruitment, Preparation, and Certification, Rani Singh currently serves as the Secretary of the Board.
- Supervision of the issuance of certificates;
- Revocation and suspension of certificates;
- Review of applications from individuals with criminal records; and
- Review of appeals filed by applicants to contest adverse decisions by the Office of Recruitment, Preparation, and Certification regarding their eligibility for certification, including determination of equivalent education or experience of applicants who do not meet established certification requirements.
The Office of Recruitment, Preparation, and Certification works under the authority of the State Board of Examiners. Office staff review applications and credentials and issue certificates to candidates who meet the requirements.
The Board has two standing committees that meet prior to the formal public meeting. The committees discuss matters on their respective agendas and make recommendations to the full Board for action.
Credentials Review Committee
Candidates can contest adverse decisions by the Office of Recruitment, Preparation, and Certification regarding their eligibility for certification by filing an appeal to the Board. In addition, candidates who cannot meet certain requirements for certification may request that the Board consider their alternate education and/or life experiences as the equivalent of the missing education or experience. These candidates provide the Board with documentation that they believe demonstrates that their education and/or experiences are the equivalent of the requirements they lack. Their documentation is initially examined by the Credentials Review Committee, which makes a recommendation regarding the case to the full Board in the public session. Candidates are invited to attend the State Board of Examiners meeting to respond to questions from Board members.
Cases reviewed by the Legal Committee include decisions to revoke or suspend an educator's certificates (the Board has the authority revoke or suspend certificates for inefficiency, incapacity, conduct unbecoming a teacher or other just cause), review of applications from individuals with a criminal record, and applications for certification after revocation. The Legal Committee makes recommendations to the full Board in public session. Legal cases are usually decided on the basis of written submissions only. However, when material facts are in dispute, the Board transmits the case to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. In addition, the Board may hold hearings at its meetings, and educators facing revocation of their certificates are provided with the opportunity to appear before the Board to offer testimony on the issue of the appropriate sanction in the event the Board finds just cause to take action against their certificates.