On what was once a pivotal day for all New Jersey school districts, voters will be asked to go to the polls today in just 39 districts in 10 counties to cast ballots on local school budgets.
This is the second year of the law that allowed districts to move school board elections to November and, in turn, do away with budget votes entirely.
The number of districts staying with traditional April elections continues to drop. Last year, 70 districts held budget elections in April, with nine in 10 districts seeing their budgets pass, the highest rate on record.
The districts holding school elections today are:
Bergen: Cliffside Park, East Rutherford, Emerson, Englewood, Fairview, Garfield, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Midland Park, Norwood, Oakland, Palisades Park, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Wood-Ridge
Essex: Belleville, Irvington, Newark (school board only)
Gloucester: Delsea Regional, Franklin
Hudson: North Bergen, Secaucus, Weehawken
Middlesex: Cranbury, Edison, Metuchen, New Brunswick
Monmouth: Neptune Township
Morris: Chatham, Mendham Township, Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough
Passaic: Hawthorne, Passaic, Paterson (school board only), Totowa
Warren: Allamuchy, Greenwich
In addition to the base budget votes, four districts are holding votes on “second questions” calling for spending that exceeds the state’s 2 percent tax cap. They are Wood-Ridge, Secaucus, the Chathams and Greenwich.
The proposals in Secaucus and the Chathams include additional funding for added security personnel in the aftermath of the Newtown, CT, school shootings. Secaucus is seeking security personnel in each of its schools.
Meanwhile, Greenwich is asking for additional funds to maintain existing staff in subject areas such as art, music and physical education.