Voters in 30 school districts across New Jersey voted on school construction proposals during 2017, taking action on projects including school additions, athletic facility improvements, security enhancements and more.
A total $471,425,298 has been approved in 20 districts, with the last voting taking place on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Results show that 66 percent of the districts that held referenda throughout 2017 saw projects approved.
Fewer Proposals than 2016 In comparison, last year, 43 districts put forth construction proposals and 33 proposals were approved, for an approval rate of 76 percent.
All or most of the projects approved include state funding; a total of $155,046,461 in state dollars will go to the projects approved this year. State funding, provided through the Educational Facilities and Construction and Financing Act of 2000, provides at least 40 percent of eligible school construction costs through grants or debt service aid.
Local Priorities on the Ballot School districts sought voter approval of bond issues to meet a wide variety of local priorities in 2017. Some sought to expand instructional space to reconfigure grades. Some proposed renovations of gymnasiums and athletic facilities; or improvements to health and safety conditions with installation of new windows or HVAC. At least one district, Woodbridge, saw approval of a proposal to build a new elementary school, on an existing site. Many districts also put forth proposals for technology upgrades and security enhancements.
A number of districts proposed multi-part construction proposals, with a base question, usually consisting of projects eligible for state aid, followed by supplemental question(s) frequently pertaining to projects which are often not eligible for state support.
Five districts proposed multi-part construction proposals in 2017. In four of these districts, the base proposal was approved, but in two of those, the supplemental questions were defeated.
See related story for results of Dec. 12 referenda.