The voters in 22 school districts yesterday approved school construction bond referenda-81 percent of the districts that had ballot questions before them. Twenty-seven school districts had placed referenda before the voters seeking to gain approval for their construction projects. (See attached chart for details)
"The overwhelmingly positive response New Jersey voters demonstrated for the school construction bond issues that were placed before them yesterday represents real progress in providing the children of New Jersey with safe, modern school facilities," said Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. "In the past these school districts would have had to shoulder the entire cost of their school construction projects. Under the new school construction law every district will receive at least 40% of their costs from the state.
"The assistance provided by the state to local districts for school construction is pure property tax relief," continued Gagliardi. "Without the new law children in these districts would either have to go without new schools because their communities could not afford them, or property taxes would have to be raised significantly so that the school district could bear the entire cost of a project."
The projects approved yesterday include brand new schools, school additions, improvements and other health and safety related projects. Several of the referenda have been defeated in the past prior to the enactment of the school facilities law.
"I am pleased to report that the children in these 22 school districts will benefit in the future from new or improved facilities. All children need a clean, safe, secure and up-to-date environment if they are to succeed in school," concluded Gagliardi.