Most N.J. school districts want to move elections to November

About 80 percent of the school districts in New Jersey have decided to move their elections from April to November.

More than 400 of New Jersey’s 538 school districts have filed applications to make the change.

Sen. Donald Norcross, D-Camden, sponsored the legislation that allowed those elections to be moved to November. He said he’s pleased with the response.

“This has worked out far better than we expected, literally saving districts hundreds of thousands of dollars in this cost which now will go toward taxpayer and tax relief,” Norcross said.

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Districts holding November elections will not be required to seek voter approval if their school budgets stay under the 2 percent cap on property tax increases.

However, Lynne Strickland of the Garden State Coalition of Schools says districts that exceed the cap may have a tough time getting voter support.

“Let’s say they have a big growing enrollment and they have a special need. They might get shut out. It’s more likely when you’re in November because you’re only voting on that particular question and you can’t budget in a timely fashion for that school year,” she said. “You’re really into the next school year before you can use any money that might come forth.”

Strickland says having school elections at the same time as the general elections might also make school board races more partisan.

Supporters say combining those elections will save millions of dollars.

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