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Poll: Should School Board Elections Be in November?

Municipalities could move vote to align with general elections, while budget may be passed without vote.

The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill last week that would allow municipalities the option of moving to November. Currently, those elections and budget votes take place in .

Any one of three groups can make the decision to move the vote: the school board, local voters (through a petition) and municipal government.

Moving the vote to November would align it with the general election. If a municipality chooses to move the vote to November, a district's budget would automatically pass if it remained within the 2 percent property tax cap. If it did not, it would still require voter approval, as would second questions.

Supporters of the bill, including Gov. Chris Christie, say it will save money by holding only one election, while also bringing in more votes since more people tend to vote in the general election than on the school board.

Opponents say that by eliminating the vote on a budget that falls withing the 2 percent cap, it takes away the rights of residents.

Tells us what you think? Do you support the move to November and the elimination of the 2 percent cap vote? Like the move, but not if it means eliminating the budget vote? Or are you against the bill all together? Vote in our poll and then tell us why you voted that way in the comments.

Mrs. G. January 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
This is a good idea. All too often people vote down a school budget - even within a reasonable "cap" - simply because they can. This way, a responsible budget will be able to be a sure thing right from the beginning. Most of the responsible ones are approved by the township councils after they are defeated anyway. That is a waste of everyones' time, and their efforts could now be spent on something really important. As far as the elections are concerned, why not in Nov, if it saves money?
Shore Skeptic January 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Make the elections in April...tax time. Maybe then people will vote with their heads.
Mr. ? January 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Mrs. G. are you a teacher or some how involved with the schools? First, what responsible budgets? To whom, the children and the taxpayers, or even for the benefit of the teachers to be able to better teach? School board / budget elections are SUPPOSED TO BE nonpartisan and non political, so lets throw them in with the Nov. political influence elections. The budget 2% cap is the "wool" for STUPID people.....Christie's joke on you..and all of us. And please, I am not calling you stupid. Jackson Twsp just had a 7% school tax increase and it was within the cap. Tr Regional SUFFERED a 3.6% increase, with in the cap, and teachers and core curriculum received little squat. The only money saved will be the physical cost of holding the elections then. Much more will be wasted in an increased cost due to the political influence and cost of recycled tax payers money. Just another pathetic legislation with too many loopholes. Make November mandatory, and without the BOE and municipal option, allow voting on ALL budgets, and include a mandatory reduction of 2% by the municipal Council if the budget fails, and limit campaign finance contributions from political money, through Elect laws and Clean Elections. Oh, and Mrs. G., it will cost quite a bit of money for new voting equipment to bring BOE elections to November. The only advantage I see is allowing a better representation if more people vote, and thereby removing the insider patronage equation.
Mrs. G. January 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM
No, I am not a teacher or involved with the schools I am very thankful for my public school education and that of my children. I live in Brick where budgets are voted down over and over again. Our schools are in a state of disrepair, and it does not seem to matter to the voting public. The last budget was very responsible - and reinstated almost in full by the council after costing time, money and effort to get the budget in front of the voters. That to me is a very big waste of time and money. You do make a good point by saying it would cost money to buy new voting equiptment. But that really doesn't have to be the case. We are now able to cast our votes by mail with no questions asked. That would negate buying new equiptment. I have been voting by mail since the laws changed - no lines, no last minute decission not to go out to vote, and no hassle at all. I believe the word needs to get out so more people do it, and what better time to do that than when this becomes law.
Mr. ? January 22, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Thank you Mrs G for your reply...and I have all due respect. I also have children in the school system now. I am also thankful for my education, but believe the education system was more responsible then. The educational system was different. Our schools are failing and you need only to look at HSPA, SAT scores and graduation rates. The system is corrupt with greed, immorality, and malfeasance and I am not saying all individuals are corrupt...only some. I am glad you are satisfied and think your budget was responsible, but would ask you to study budgets further and look at the spending side. Bonding, professional contracts, administrative costs as well as money directed to sports and "special" costs. Forget caps, as they are a farce. the voting down of a budget is just a property tax revolt. When the council scrutinizes it there is no real cost associated. Unfortunately they may be part of the political polluted process, all local governmental entities inclusive, and their scrutiny is only a motion. Mail in balloting could be a great cost savings. I would worry how that could become fradulent. Didn't we leave paper balloting a long time ago because of the labor costs to process? And my other suggestions? .........
Mr. ? January 22, 2012 at 03:02 AM
......... In these tough economic times, haven't you been forced to cut 2%? Where is your 2% raise this year? November elections?...good bad or otherwise, but no difference, if it doesn't accomplish any thing for our children. Just more voters, so many uninformed! maybe more representative. What bothers me most is 56% (Patch poll) are in favor of this, yet almost no one writes a comment.They get info here on the Patch and some on the news and then vote! Same as when they will go to the polls in November....indoctrinated and ignorant.
Oscar Wilde January 22, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Not if Christies 2% BS Cap is mandatory
suz January 22, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Couldn't care less when the election will be...I still will vote down ANY increase in school budget until the corrupt administration is gone.
Mr. ? January 22, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Sue, you should care because your right to vote will be gone! No chance to vote down the 2% increase plus the circumvent 3,4,5 % or... increase around the "cap trap crap". Along with this will come increases in spending from political patronage professional contracts. You can't change this loop holed legislation, you wont be able to vote down a possible 5% or more increase in taxes (read above again please) and your only possible "control" will be to vote out irresponsible unaccountable board of education members. And wont that be how you get rid of as you said "corrupt administration" and.......
suz January 22, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Never said I didn't care about the voting part...I take pride in the fact that I can vote and use this great american right every chance I get! Just don't care when it is, thats all.
bayway mike January 23, 2012 at 02:18 AM
When the general election is in November and the Fire district voting is in a different and the B.O.E. is in another month and some primaries are in some other month, many times the voters could CARE LESS as to what is being voted for, so they DON'T vote because it DOES take too much of our time when we are not at work or at home with our families..
Mr. ? January 23, 2012 at 05:49 AM
So Bayway Mike, I get that you think voters are just to busy to vote. Agreed! All elections should be in November? Nope! The voters really don't care much about the SPECIFICS of each particular election and could "CARE LESS". As confused as the general public is and uninformed...INDOCTRINATED!!! ...PATHETIC...they really have no idea! So lets make it easy and convenient to "exercise their right to vote" all in one election day! God forbid, the voters really should be required to know anything about anything before they vote. And with different dates of elections, should have some time in between elections, to study anything at all, and be REQUIRED to be more informed!! You know this is all engineered from the top to the grassroots bottom. Does the general citizenry understand how important all of this is? Nope!...and time consumed with work and family? OMG...hopefully they soon will, find out how important this is, before it is too late!! but it is it already to late? At least the Giants won!!! and that's important! Blah, blah ,blah.........................
Norman C. Colby February 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
When the annual budget is voted upon in April, it allows the prtintendent of School to be blackmailed by the teachers as they (teachers) form a strong voting bloc. The SOS is reluctant to approve the release of a non-tenured teacher who is not performing to professional standards as he/she (superintendent) will get a non-support budget vote. So for the greater good, passage of the budget, the noncompetent teacher gains tenure and does a substandard job of teaching students for generations. This is the prime reason for poor performance standards achieved by students and thus the education profession is constantly in dire strits.
Norman C. Colby February 27, 2012 at 01:05 AM
The above man was in education for almost 33 years and a supervisor for 20.

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