BAYONNE, NJ - A vote on a potential ballot referendum to change Board of Education elections from November to April will be put on hold until the March board meeting so that board members can get more information.

Saying that board of education elections should be separate from local, state, or federal contests Trustee Michael Alonso introduced the resolution at the body’s Wednesday asking that the question to be put on the November ballot.

An April vote, he said, would ensure that those casting ballots would not be influence or swayed by other political issues that don’t directly impact the district, and would also allow voters to approve the school budget which must be adopted by June every year. 

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Currently registered voters can cast ballots for school board candidates but not directly on the budget, even though the board has the power to collect taxes.

Trustee Christopher Munoz, however, argued that districts around the state were encouraged under former Governor Christopher Christie to switch to November elections in order to save money. An April election, he added, could cost the district up to $80,000, money he believes could be better spent on classroom needs.

Seeking additional information, Board President Maria Valado offered her view that November elections generate higher turnouts, but stopped short of opposing the measure saying they would reconsider it in March after more information has been gathered and analyzed. 

Any change to an April election would not take place until 2021 meaning those board members whose terms expire later this year would still have to seek reelection in November.

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