School Board Elections 2012 (Part 1)

April used to be a lot more exciting for NJ political bloggers, Save Jerseyans.

No more, now that 400+ New Jersey school districts moved their school board elections to November.

The incentive for this massive change? A brand new state law permitting Garden State school districts to avoid unpredictable and divisive public votes on their schools’ budgets altogether by moving their election dates to November. This flexibility is still conditioned upon constraining any tax increases to the Governor’s 2% cap. Most districts jumped at the offer!

A strong minority — 73 districts — nevertheless forged ahead yesterday with voting.

Results? Thus far, I’ve only heard of two failed budgets: the Readington (Hunterdon Co.) and Lawrence (Mercer Co.) school budget proposals were voted down. Not all that surprising, really. Last year about 80% of budgets succeeded statewide and it looks like we’re on track for a similar result this year.

Frankly, we may never witness another school board election cycle like back in 2010 when Governor Christie’s advocacy led to historic school budget defeats in approximately 60% of districts