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NJDOE Clarifies Issues Surrounding New School Elections Legislation

Toms River Regional has yet to decide whether it will switch to November

A separate section of November’s ballot will be set aside for school board candidates, and the county clerk will now be in control of the school board elections, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) said on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The school district will also save a significant amount of money by moving the elections.

The released answers to the frequently asked questions concerning its new policy this week.

School board elections will remain non-partisan and the county clerk will design the ballot, the state said.

has not yet voted on whether to keep April elections or move school board elections to November.

Under the new law, the clerk has the “authority to determine the specifications for, and the final arrangement of, the official ballots,” according to the state.

The state added that, “the school board candidates will not be aligned with any political party or partisan candidates.”

The is also the filing officer for those elections and will rule on objections to nomination petitions.

There’s also the issue of cost savings.

After spending what Business Administrator Bill Doering said was $100,000 on elections, the Toms River Regional district will not have to cover the base cost of conducting an election, the NJDEP said.

This includes payment of board workers, voting machine transportation, overtime for county election personnel, rental of polling places, or other inherent costs of an election, the NJDOE said.

The state or the county already covers those costs as part of the November elections.

However, under the new law, school boards would pick up additional costs election costs relating only to school board elections in November.

“It is anticipated that such added costs would be minimal, if any,” according to the NJDOE. “The new law provides that the board of education and the respective board of election can enter into an agreement regarding cost, pursuant to guidelines to be issued by the Secretary of State.”

School boards wouldn’t be responsible for costs related to printing a ballot.

If the school district had not decided to move its elections to November, there was a chance it would have to had to pay more for an April election, NJDOE said, stating that if fewer school districts conduct spring elections, fewer districts would be sharing the cost, so those that continue with April elections would pay more.

Despite the fact that the budget will not go before the public, budgets will be handled the same way municipalities handle their budgets, meaning the school board will still have to hold public hearings and allow the public to have a say.

For those districts that switch to a November ballot, the deadline to file to run for school board is now June, according to the NJDOE.

Election hours will be uniform with the general election, meaning the polls will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

E. Eytan January 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Toms River schools election should be switched to November NOW!
Greg January 30, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I agree. Do you think that the elections of the school board in this district is going to be more fair that it was when the elections were held in April? I would like to know what school district that the State Department of Education is talking about being non political. We know that they aren't talking about the "GOLD STAR" standard here in Toms River. There isn't a district that works any closer to the Council than our "wonderful" district. Isn't that correct Mr. Ritacco or Mr. Doering or Mr. Roselli? Well, if you look at it this way there isn't any difference is there?


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