YES, You Can Have School Communications!
The State of NJ Fiscal Accountability Regulations permits public school districts to hire staff or contracted service providers to perform school communication functions! School communications is much more than traditional public relations, which does have some restrictions in the regulations per the Department of Education.
As outlined in the regulations, public relations activities cannot comprise more than 50% of a staff member’s duties. Those duties, as defined by the regulations, include activities directly related to promotional efforts that advance a particular position and/or communicate information to the news media and district community at large. Means used may include press releases, press conferences, newsletters, flyers, mass community mailings and emails, television and radio broadcasting, and school-related community events.
According to the accountability regulations, "public relations activities do not include activities such as crisis communications, website maintenance, data collection and dissemination, school operations, and development of the school district calendar or handbook" as part of the 50% of a staff member's duties.
Today, the communication needs of a school district go way beyond the PR activities as defined by the NJ Department of Education so school districts can absolutely have a staff position for communications or hire a PR agency to assist in their communication efforts.
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