This year, school districts in New Jersey got a pretty big break. “Voters approved nearly 80 percent of school budget proposals which is nearly double the rate of last year when it was close to 40 percent that were approved,” said John Mooney, education writer for NJSpotlight.com. Last year was extremely contentious, he siad. Governor Chris Christie rallied hard against school spending, introduced a two percent budget cap, and recession fears were peaking. After school programs were slashed, teachers were fired, class numbers ballooned.
“They went through some tough times last year,” said Mooney. “This year, their public rallied behind them.” But, he said, this year’s budgets are still very lean–symptomatic of the Garden State’s “new normal.”