Voters in 39 school districts across New Jersey voted on school construction proposals during 2019, taking action on projects including school additions, security enhancements, heating and ventilation work and more.
A total $584,935,360 was approved in 26 districts, with the last special election of the year taking place on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Results show that 66% of the districts that held referenda throughout 2019 saw projects approved.
All of the projects approved include state funding; a total of $208,359,096 in state dollars will go to proposals approved this year. State funding, provided through the Educational Facilities and Construction and Financing Act of 2000, provides at least 40% of eligible school construction costs through grants or debt service aid.
Slightly Fewer Proposalsthan 2018 In comparison, last year, 40 districts put forth construction proposals and 26 proposals –the same as in 2019—were approved, for an approval rate of 65%. The total amount of spending approved in 2018 — $697.5 million — was about $112.6 million higher than this year’s approved total.
Local Priorities on the Ballot School districts sought voter approval of bond issues to meet a wide variety of local priorities in 2019. Some sought to expand instructional space to accommodate rising enrollment, while others proposed renovations or improvements to health and safety conditions with projects such as the installation of new HVAC systems, security vestibules in schools or the renovation of science classrooms. The Carteret district in Middlesex County saw approval of a proposal to build a new middle school for grades seven and eight.
Seven districts proposed multi-part construction proposals, with a base question, followed by supplemental question(s); three of the multi-part proposals were approved, while four were defeated. In 2019, no multi-part proposals were partially approved or defeated.
Detailed descriptions of construction proposals are available on the NJSBA data webpage here.