Voters Will Choose the Next School Board Members and Residents Can Vote on the School Budget for the 1st Time in Nearly 23 Years
[Newark, NJ – April 16, 2019] Newark residents will vote today on who will serve as the next three members of the Newark Board of Education (NBOE). In addition, residents will vote on the school budget. This is a historic vote because Newark residents were not able to vote for the school budget while the school district was under state control. The NBOE is asking voters to vote YES on the ballot question to approve the school budget recently approved by members of the sitting Board. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Background on the Budget:
The budget takes into consideration a number of factors; including an increase of $24.8 million in state aid, an increase in the NBOE allocation to Newark charter schools, transportation and the cost of educating Newark children attending school outside of the school district. The budget also reflects a decrease in some spending by the NBOE and a total contribution of fund balance in the amount of $57 million, more than any other district in the state, percentage-wise.
State aid for Newark increased by $24.8 million raising the annual state aid contribution to $812 million. The budget also reflects an increase in payments to charter schools reflecting a cost of nearly $289 million and the cost of educating Newark students in out of district placements in the amount of $44 million.
Additionally, the FY 2019-2020 budget reflects curriculum improvements, school facility improvements and upgrades and initiatives focused on improving the academic and overall school experience for students, according to Newark Schools Superintendent Roger León. He added, “Our charge is to take our students from very good to great and for them to be intelligent and contributing residents of Newark and the world. Our investment in them today, will yield superior students and citizens in the future.”
Board Chairperson, Josephine C. Garcia said, “We are counting on our residents because they play a very important role in shaping the future of our most valuable assets, our students.”
Finally, the NBOE budget also reflects a $2.7 million increase in the tax levy for Newark taxpayers. This increase, according to NBOE Business Administrator Valerie Wilson, is slightly above the 2% minimum allowable by the state. Ms. Wilson added, “The tax increase reflects an average increase in property taxes of $57 a year on a home valued at $175,000 – which amounts to approximately 16¢ a day. Our goal is not to have a negative impact on the citizens of Newark, yet to have a transformative impact on our students.”
This is the first time in 22 years’ residents of Newark can vote on the Newark Board of Education School budget. The election to vote on the budget, as well as NBOE School board candidates is Tuesday, April 16. The Superintendent added, “We are encouraging all Newark citizens to vote yes on the School Budget, so that we can go forward to build upon the greatness of our district and more importantly, our students.”