February 14, 2012
Dear HTS Community,
Last month, state legislators proposed and Governor Christie signed into law (A-4394/S3148), which provides municipalities and boards of education an opportunity to move the April Board of Education elections to November, where they would coincide with the general election. Last night at the Harding Township Board of Education meeting, the Board voted to move the April election to November, effective immediately.
According to a statement released by the nonpartisan New Jersey Office of Legislative Services, districts could realize savings of 0.08% of their annual budget by moving the elections to the fall. For the Harding Township Board of Education, we anticipate annual savings of approximately $4,000. Moreover, the school budget process will be streamlined. Assemblyman Lou Greenwald said, “Empowering towns to move their school elections to November will give voters better control of their local finances while saving property taxpayers the costs of holding yet another local election.” Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf continues, “The passage of this bipartisan law provides both school budget savings and increased voter participation in the process.”
Under this new law, school budgets that fall within the 2% property tax cap would not have to be voted on by the community. School districts would still be required to submit its budget to the Executive County Superintendent in March and hold an annual public hearing later that same month. Lastly, the public would vote for individual board of education members at the November election.
Again, to recap: the HTS school budget, if it is presented within the 2% property tax cap, will not be voted on by the community. Individual candidates for the HTS Board of Education will be voted on at the November general election, which this year falls on November 6, 2012.
If you have any questions about this matter, please feel free to contact me at HTS.