As Board of Ed Elections Move to November, Will You Miss Voting on the School Budget?

On one hand, it's easier to have consolidated voting in Woodbridge. But on the other hand, if you like voting down that school board budget...

Take advantage of legislation approved by the state legislature and pushed by Gov. Chris Christie, the Woodbridge Board of Education voted to move the school board elections from April to November.

The nine-member board unanimously approved the date change.

The upside of moving the school board election date to November is to take advantage of the heavier voter turnout. April elections have always been relatively sparsely attended compared to November general elections. There would also be taxpayer savings generated by having one ballot printing in November, versus two with an April election.  

There are concessions, though, for moving the date of the school board elections. One is the loss of the ability to vote on the school board budget, a cathartic pasttime for Woodbridge taxpayers where they display their anger at rising taxes.

According to the legislation, as long as the board's budget stays within a 2 percent cap - which excludes pensions and healthcare, costs that are outside the board's control - the budget automatically passes.

In the event that the proposed budget exceeds the cap, the county superintendent is required to put a measure on the November ballot which would enable voters to approve or reject the budget increase.

Other changes that happen with moving school board elections to November include an extended stay in office for board members. Their term of service will be extended to January to coincide with the new voting schedule.

The elections of school board officials is still to be non-partisan, according to the legislation.

If things don't work out as planned, the board can change the vote back to April. They will have to wait four years to do that, though, once the change is made.


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