TRENTON – Sixty-three of the 70 school districts that held their Board of Education elections Tuesday had their budgets approved by voters, the New Jersey School Boards Association said today.
On Tuesday, voters approved proposed budgets in 90 percent of the New Jersey school districts that placed proposed 2012-2013 budgets on the ballot, according to unofficial results compiled by the NJSBA.
Three other school districts with April elections – South Orange/Maplewood, which has a board of school estimate approve its annual budget, and the state-operated districts of Newark and Paterson – do not place their proposed budgets on the ballot, and conduct only board-member elections.
Altogether, 73 districts held school board and budget elections Tuesday, while the other 487 school districts decided to move them to November, following passage of a law that allowed them to do so.
According to supporters of that law, by holding the elections in November, the likelihood of higher turnout improves and budget questions would not be posted on the ballot if the proposed tax increase falls below the 2 percent cap.
Last year, voters approved 79.7 percent of the 538 proposed school budgets on the ballot statewide.
Voters on Tuesday also chose candidates to fill 221 school board seats in the 73 districts. A total of 318 candidates had filed to run for school board, 45 percent of whom were incumbents seeking re-election.
School boards in three districts presented a separate ballot question asking voters to approve spending outside of the base budget.
Voters approved two of these questions:
- Haddon Heights in Camden County requested $207,799 for various sports, cheerleading, varsity, band/choir and enrichment programs, and lab computers. – Approved
- Hawthorne in Passaic County requested $625,000 for hiring eight teachers and reinstating the education director. – Approved
- Greenwich Township in Warren County requested $156,958 for reinstating two technology teachers. – Rejected
The East Rutherford Board of Education in Bergen County proposed a $2.49 million referendum for roof and window replacement, renovations, and school electrical system upgrades. Voters in that community approved the construction proposal.
The school districts where residents voted down the budgets include Delsea Regional, Franklin Township, Monroe Township (all in Gloucester County), North Bergen (Hudson County), Readington Township (Hunterdon County), Lawrence Township (Mercer County) and Lakewood (Ocean County)