School board candidates must be at least 18 years old, qualified voters in the school district and able to read and write. They must be residents of their districts continuously for 30 days before the election. They cannot be employed by the board on which they serve or live in the same household with a family member who is also a member of the same school board.
With limited exceptions, school board members serve three-, four- or five-year terms. Terms are staggered so all board positions are never open at the same time. By state law, school board and budget elections, in all districts except Albany and the Big 5, must be held on the third Tuesday in May.
Procedures for filing petitions for vacancies: Candidates must submit a nominating petition to the school district clerk. The petition must be signed by at least 25 qualified district voters. The petition must include the candidate’s name and residence, the vacancy in question, the incumbent’s (if any) name, the residences of the persons who signed the petition and the length of the term of office for which the candidate is being nominated.
State law requires all candidates for election to a board of education to file a sworn statement with the district clerk disclosing their campaign expenses. If expenditures made by the candidate or by others on the candidate’s behalf exceed $500, a statement also should be filed with the commissioner of education. Expenditures of not more than $25 may be made without the candidate’s permission if the donor or donors file a sworn statement with the clerk and the commissioner stating that the candidate did not approve the expenditure.