Fourteen New Jersey school districts held annual school elections on Tuesday, May 12, electing board members, and voting on proposed school budgets. The elections were originally scheduled to be held on April 21, but were moved to the May date, pursuant to Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 105, issued on March 19. All elections are being conducted exclusively using vote by mail. Mail-I ballots had to be postmarked as of May 12. NJSBA will report election results as they are made public.
The 14 districts holding elections include: Cliffside Park, Fairview, Garfield, Hackensack, Oakland and Ridgewood in Bergen County; Irvington and Newark in Essex County; North Bergen, Weehawken and West New York in Hudson County; New Brunswick in Middlesex County and Passaic and Totowa in Passaic County.
Ballot Question One district, Weehawken, has a special question on its ballot. School boards may place questions on the ballot asking voters to approve spending outside of the state’s 2% tax levy cap. The proposal asks for $1,550, 930 to expand services for social, emotional, and wellness support for students and families throughout the district. The funds would allow the funding of additional services and interventions that consist of clinical therapists, a board-certified behavior analyst, support staff, professional development, materials and the creation of Wellness Centers.
Beginning in 2012, when boards were first permitted to move their annual school election to the date of the November general election, the vast majority of New Jersey districts, about 530, have moved their election date. Districts that have November elections are not required to put proposed budgets on the ballot.