School budgets were approved in 14 of 16, more than 87 percent, of the New Jersey districts that held budget elections on Tuesday, April 19. In two districts, the spending plans were rejected.
Voters in 17 New Jersey school districts went to the polls to select members of their local school boards, and in 16 of those, voters also took action on local revenue to fund the proposed 2016-2017 school budgets. In Newark, a state-operated district,budget elections are not held.
A total of 83 candidates, half of them incumbents, ran for the 52 open seats on ballots in the 17 districts.
In the 17 districts holding elections on April 19, the ratio of candidates to open school board seats is 1.59 to 1. That figure is higher than in the November 2015 General Election when there were 1.22 candidates for each open seat statewide.
Until 2012, all of New Jersey’s school districts with elected boards of education, more than 540, held their annual elections in April. Legislation enacted that year permitted communities to move their school board elections to the General Election date in November. The vast majority of communities have done so. In the November election districts, the proposed school budget is not placed on the ballot if it is within the state’s 2 percent tax levy cap.
Statute also permits communities that opted for November elections to switch back to an April date after four years. This year, two districts, Plainfield and Asbury Park, switched from November election dates back to April.
Annual school elections took place on April 19 in the following school districts; the result of the budget election is noted after the district name:
Bergen County – Cliffside Park (Approved); Fairview (Approved); Garfield (Approved); Hackensack (Approved); Oakland (Approved); Palisades Park (Rejected).
Essex County – Irvington (Approved); Newark (a state-operated district with no budget election)
Hudson County – North Bergen (Rejected); Weehawken (Approved)
Middlesex County – New Brunswick (Approved)
Monmouth County – Asbury Park (Approved); Neptune Township (Approved)
Morris County – Riverdale (Approved)
Passaic County – Passaic (Approved); Totowa (Approved)
Union County – Plainfield (Approved)