Voters in 40 school districts across New Jersey decided school construction questions during 2018, taking action on projects including security enhancements, school additions, and building systems improvements.

A total of $697,461,554 was approved in 26 districts, with the last voting of the year taking place on Tuesday Dec. 11. School construction proposals were on the ballot this year in January, March, September, October (the special election was rescheduled from September), November and December.

Sixty-five percent of districts that held referenda throughout 2018 saw projects approved.

More Proposals Than in 2017   In comparison, last year 30 districts put forth construction proposals and 20 were approved, for an approval rate of 66 percent.

All of the projects approved include state funding; a total of $216,855,654 in state dollars will go to the projects approved this year. State funding, provided through the Educational Facilities and Construction and Financing Act of 2000, provides at least 40 percent of eligible construction costs through grants or debt service aid.

Local Priorities on the Ballot  School districts sought voters’ approval of bond issues to meet a wide variety of local priorities in 2018.

Some sought to add security enhancements such as vestibules to buildings, while others proposed expanding instructional space or renovating science labs or libraries/media centers. Several districts won approval to undertake structural building improvements such as new roofs, windows, boilers, lighting or HVAC systems.

Detailed descriptions of construction projects are available on the NJSBA data webpage here.